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"A Delicate Balance" by Jose Armas

Use examples from the attached stories only:

1. What are some ways themes are rooted in texts?

2. What literary elements can be used to drive them?

3. How are themes recognized? Use specific examples from at least one attached story to illustrate your thoughts.

4. What is the significance of knowing how to interpret literature?

5. Use specific examples from at least one attached story to illustrate your thoughts. Use a different piece than the story you use to answer question 3.


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Text Chosen: "A Delicate Balance" by Jose Armas.

1) Themes can be rooted in texts via language, plot, and setting. For example, language can be distinguished in multiple ways. Specific languages can be easily identified via simply reading the text. Armas' "A Delicate Balance" utilizes English and Spanish, which indicates a culture of Hispanic individual. This language in and of itself does not identify the theme, but can help readers infer that a Hispanic cultural norm may play a role. Furthermore, language can be defined as either "formal" vs. "informal." This helps readers decide the theme based on HOW the individuals in the story speak. Armas' story uses largely informal, casual speaking, which implies that the theme will have something to do with a "normal" situation. Setting picks up where language leaves us; when combining language, the setting fully identifies the context and situation of the language. For example, if the Spanish language is used, as in "A Delicate Balance," and the society mentions predominately Hispanic individuals and locations, the reader can identify that the story revolves around Hispanic-descended individuals from a Spanish-speaking (or hybrid English-Spanish) culture. However, if the Spanish language is used and the setting was an English-only area, a reader could infer that language difficulties could be a theme itself of the story. In Armas' story, the dualities of the Spanish language and largely Hispanic culture implies that Spanish itself isn't its own theme. Lastly, the plot plays a pivotal role in theme. The progression of the story helps the reader to ...

Solution Summary

"A Delicate Balance" by Jose Armas is assessed.