“Three Girls”

An Exploration by Brittney Darner

http://electricliterature.com/2009/10/electric-literature-2/

The main idea of this story is the innocent love children can have towards one another as well as the often-ignored intuition children possess. In this piece, a young girl watches as her family’s car is pulled out of a snow bank by a tow truck. She then observes that if the car were not stuck, it would have slid into the river on the slippery ice. Instead of responding with fear, she considers sitting in the back of the car with her two sisters as it went beneath the water. She thinks about how their different colored hats with the tassels would have floated to the surface, but the girls would have remained in the car holding hands. They would always help each other because according to her, that is what sisters are supposed to do. The video presents the story using a stop-motion effect with images that appear to be cut out of magazines. The music is slower-paced but still has a childish tone to it. It is very colorful and incorporates many different kinds of patterns.

My favorite aspect of this piece was the point-of-view. This story would have a completely different tone if it were not told from the perspective of a young girl. Because the child is speaking in her own words, the reader feels as though they are part of her world. Her innocence and devotion is obvious without being blatantly stated. Also, the reader can appreciate the imagination of a child’s mind, something that we as adults often forget to marvel. For instance, the young girl uses the following visual: “Now she imagined the car sliding beneath the water, and the ski hats–blue, green, and yellow–floating out of the window and rising to the surface, their tassels wavering atop the water like small flags…” The different colored tasseled hats present a clear picture to the reader that feels as though the young girl’s fantasies are alive. Also, by mixing the truth of the situation (the possibility of the car sliding into the lake) with her imagination, it appears that much more realistic. Without the point-of-view of the young girl, the story would not resonate with the reader. For example, if the story were told by the perspective of the father, it possibly would have been much more focused on the money lost by having to get the tow truck, and how lucky he was the car did not slide into the river, because that would have been even more expensive. Even though my focus is on point-of-view, it also lends a great hand to characterization. By presenting it through this character, the story becomes much more appealing and unique

“They would have been a help to one another, the way sisters can be.”  I feel this is the most impacting sentence of the piece. This is great because it is short, meaningful, and wraps up the story very well. The story begins with a practical explanation of what is happening, then leads into the imaginative thoughts of the young girl, and finally ends of the love she has for her sisters. To me, this makes the relationship seem very real to the reader in such a short piece. This line does multiple things, which as writers is what we all strive to accomplish in our sentences. It continues this break from reality because the young girl says that even though they are underneath the water in a car and are certain to drown, it won’t matter because they have each other. It also gives the audience a deeper understanding of their sisterhood; their unwavering love can face any situation.

What I took most from the story was the bravery in writing from the perspective of a character that is so different from myself. When I am creating a character, I start with the easiest inspiration I have: myself. Almost all of my characters are somewhat stemmed from an aspect of my personality or life. This story challenged me to not necessarily abandon using my life as a foundation, as I have learned from the book Steal Like An Artist, that is almost impossible to do so, but to branch off as far as possible. I want to stretch myself to write a character that I have to research and discover, more so than writing from the perspective of someone similar to myself. For instance, writing from the point-of-view of a child can be difficult because it is hard to remember my thought process as a child, and children cannot accurately convey through words their imaginative processes. It is up to me as a writer to compose works that convince the reader to believe in the reality of my character, and that is something I hope to improve upon this semester.

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