Spotted Horses Essay

This essay has a total of 1052 words and 5 pages.

Spotted Horses


"Spotted Horses" Vs. "Mule in the Yard"


William Faulkner wrote two short stories, which are alike in many aspects. "Spotted
Horses" and "Mule in the Yard" are short stories that both involve comic animal chases and
financial transactions. Even though the stories are written by the same author, have
similar characteristics, and share similar plot features, they are entirely different
stories. The stories are both examples of interpretive literature, however "Spotted
Horses" is a more interpretive short story than "Mule in the Yard because "Spotted Horses"
fits Perrine's profile of interpretive literature, and "Mule in the Yard" seems to
replicate Perrine's profile of escape literature.


According to Laurence Perrine in his seventh edition of Literature: Structure, Sound and
Sense he states the definition of interpretive literature is "Literature written to deepen
and broaden and sharpen our awareness of life." Interpretive literature is not candy
coated. It allows its readers to experience the trials and tribulations of life. By using
graphically realistic plots and endings, which are consistent to those in real life,
interpretive literature achieves a higher literary value than escape literature.
Interpretive literature allows its reader too step out of the fantasy world they might be
living in and focus on what the world is really about. One might say an interpretive story
provides insight to understanding. Not only understanding of ourselves, but our neighbors,
friends, family or anyone else we might encounter.


Escape literature is the complete opposite of interpretive literature. Escape literature
is written purely for entertainment. Escape literature takes it's reader out of the real
world and into a fantasy world where everything works and happens just like we want it to.
This is a world where the ending always has closure. Escapist authors hardly ever end on a
bad note. They want the reader to leave the pages of their story satisfied, and having a
sense of contentment. Perrine's example of escape literature is Cinderella. Cinderella's
life goes from rags to riches in one night. She marries a prince and lives happily ever
after. According to Perrine the most common expectations of escape literature readers are
the sympathetic heroes or heroines, the suspenseful plot which one exciting event proceeds
another, the resolved happy outcome, and the theme. Escape literature themes confirm the
reader's previous opinions of the world. Readers of escape literature read for pleasure
not to gather knowledge on how to survive in the real world.


The difference between escape literature and interpretive literature has nothing to do
with the absence or presence of morals, facts, fantasy, or history. The main difference
between the two is the purpose for which the story is written.
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