Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2001

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1. In paragraph form and with reference to the story, discuss Alfred's character.

In the story, "All the Years of Her Life" the main character is Alfred. In my eyes, the story portrays Alfred has a dependent, not trustworthy, not reliable, and a troubled individual. Alfred is a dependent individual because he is still living with his parents and is not able to keep a job, making him live off of his parents. He is not trustworthy either because he steals from the drugstore in which he works. This shows that he can not be trusted and this is a reason why Alfred is unable to keep a job making him unreliable for the same reason. Alfred is also a troubled individual and this is shown when Alfred has to resort to petty thieving to make extra money. Alfred is not all bad though. He can sense others feelings for instance when his mother brought him home, he could tell that she was sad and he gained much more respect for her and all that she has for him.

2. In paragraph form and with reference to the story, discuss the role of fear in creating suspense.

In this story, fear played a very important part. It provided a way for the author to make suspense. For instance when the drugstore's owner called the police, it made the reader wonder if the police would arrive first or if Alfred's mother would arrive first. Also, in the beginning when the owner caught Alfred shoplifting and we find out that Alfred is scared, it makes the reader wonder why he is scared. So as you can see, fear does play an important part in this story's suspense category.

3. In paragraph form and with reference to the story, discuss how the events in the story reveal the change in Alfred's perception of his mother.

The events of this story make Alfred's perception of his mother turn for the better. For instance in the beginning he perceived his mother as a regular mother, who will come to save him whenever he needs it, but as the story continues he begins to see her as an old, strong-hearted woman. This perception changed because when his mother came to the drug store, she was polite and caring, whereas she is usually yelling and crying. These points show that Alfred does get more respect for his mother.