Analysis on “The Standard of Living” Short Story

Written by Siti Lailatul Hajar (Bintang Sahara) on Rabu, 18 April 2012 at 09.34

A.    Character
There are six characters. They are Annabel and Midge as the major/ main characters. The others are Sylvia, young men, the doorman, and the clerk as minor characters.
Annabel and Midge have almost same character. You can see by the way of their looking and attitude. They are arrogant, charming, interesting, and having dream to be rich people. Although they look same, Annabel is a round character. So, it can make the readers surprise what Annabel act. Annabel is an antagonist character who against Midge style. She will buy a silver-fox coat that not appropriate for stylish people.
Midge is protagonist character. She is also a flat character. She defenses her style and tries to look more stylish. She never changed her character. She is the main character with Annabel. They make the story develops.
Sylvia is her office friend in the stenographic department. She against Annabel. I think  Sylvia as the representative of most people that playing those game is not good. It just spends over the time. So that, Sylvia not acceptable Annabel’s offering.
The doorman and the clerk are minor protagonist flat characters. They agree if Annabel and Midge have a luxury life, so they can spend their money to buy pearl in their shop. Besides, they do not change their attitude.
Young men are minor, antagonist, flat characters because they disturbed the main character and they never change be a good people.
The author uses mimese characters. In my opinion, the author wants to inform how life is. I think the author wants to reflect  the condition of the society in her short story that every one wants to have a luxurious life.




The doorman

Young men

The clerk

B.     plot
Plot is the careful arrangement by an author of incidents in a narrative to achieve a desired effect.
                  2. Climax                                       6. Climax
                        3.  Falling action                                
1. Rising action                       5. Rising action           7. Falling action
Exposition                       4. Resolution                                   8. No resolution
There is not only one conflict. The first is when Annabel and Midge against with their friends in the office. They besought to them to not to do. Then, when Annabel has different appetite. The resolution is by changing Annabel’s mind not to buy a silver-fox coat, but buy a coat of mink. In my opinion, the most important conflict is how they should face their life. They should not imagine what it can not reach. In this story, there is no revolution. I don’t know whether Annabel and Midge will continue their game or not or may be they will be success people and can reach their dream to live luxury.
this short story has these elements to support and develop the story itself, they are:
1.      Plausibility
For example, it is logic that the young men murmurs to the Annabel and Midge because of their appearance make people enthusiasm and want to see more and more.
2.      Suspense
For instance, when Sylvia comes out, there is no sequel. It make reader wants to know what will happen.
3.      Unity
In every word, elements, events are support each other. From the author told the appetite and attitude of Annabel and Midge, for example, have a purpose to give picture out to the reader and it has continuity.
4.      Surprise
One of example that it has surprise is the act of Annabel. Maybe, the reader does not know that the desire of Annabel is not as well as her appearance.

The author tells the story in chronological order because the events unfold in precisely the order in which they occurred. There is no events happened in the past time.

C.     Conflict
Based on my opinion, in this short story has three conflicts, they are:
1.      Person vs Person
Have a look when Annabel has different favourite things with Midge. They became a rival in a few days. They don’t play their game anymore and make a conversation more careful and infrequent.
2.      Person vs society
Do you see when Annabel and Midge are not acceptable on their society because of their style and adornment. Their style is not appropriate. I think that style is appropriate for rich people who has a good salary, whether Annabel and Midge are worker that only get sixteen dollars up to eighteen dollars.
3.      Person vs fate
Annabel and Midge refuses their fate as poor people. They just want to make their life worth by getting whatever they want. They force their life to be a rich people. Finally, they make game as if they are rich people. The game is what-would-you-do-if-you-had-a-million-dollars? Actually, they should save their money, not gone on a tire of money.

D.    Point of view
The author uses third person point of view in limited omniscient. In my belief, the author does not know all of the character in this story. She just focus on major character, Annabel and Midge. They let the minor character showing the character from the dialogue and action.

E.     Setting
Place : Fifth Avenue, Office, shop window
Time : Saturday afternoon, September, noon
Weather : hot and glaring

F.      Characterization
The author uses mixing, between showing and telling method. For example, sometimes the author directly shows the characteristics of the character. Such as : They looked conspicuous and cheap and charming. Sometimes, the author let the readers guess how the characteristic of the characters are by action and dialogue. For example:
Dare you,” Annabel said.
“Why, a store like this wouldn’t even be open this afternoon,” Midge said.
“Yes, it is so, too,” Annabel said. “People just came out. And there’s a doorman on. Dare you.”
“Well,” Midge said. “But you’ve got to come too.”
From this dialogue, I can guess that Annabel likes to give challenge. Midge likes challenge, but not enough brave.

By: Siti Lailatul Hajar, a student in English Department

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