In the short stories, "The Good Corn" written by H.E. Bates and "The Great Leapfrog Contest" by William Saroyan techniques such as characters, point of view, setting and structure work together to explore the issue of personal conflict and establish tension between the main characters in each story. An examination of these techniques allow a more enhanced reading of the texts and in turn evoke a particular response from the reader.
In the short story "The Good Corn" there are three main characters which are portrayed in such a way as to allow a tension and personal conflict to be created but only after the reader is positioned to respond favourably to the characters initially. Joe Mortimer and his wife are introduced to the reader first and the relationship established between them is a warm and caring mutual love. At the beginning of the story Joe Mortimer is portrayed as a loving and caring husband who worries about his wife and reassures her about her infertility saying "Don't say that.
Don't talk like that..." This response initially evokes a positive response from the reader towards the character Joe. Similarly, Mrs. Mortimer is portrayed as comforting, kind and gentle and this womanly nature is conveyed when she says to Joe "I want you. Don't be afraid of that." Hence, the relationship established between the farm couple is one of mutual friendship and love. The reader is positioned to respond favourably towards the two characters.
In much the same manner, the short story "The Great Leapfrog Contest" also develops the main characters so the reader responds to each in a positive manner initially. Rosie is portrayed as a tomboy in the opening paragraphs which is demonstrated through the quote "Rosie has little use for girls, and as far as possible avoided them."...