Alice Munro: Short Stories

Mrs. Fullerton’s Odd Dominos of Ambition 12th Grade

In the short story The Shining Houses by Alice Munro, Mary is a young inquisitive mother who explores the lives of her neighbours in the community. The story follows her day on the way to a child’s birthday party, the characters in the story all have their won plan with different outcomes and motives. The central focus discussed in this text is that of Mrs. Fullerton’s house and the farm like nature of the old property, the author gives a few perspectives from the community on how to handle it. This text suggests that the impact of ambition on one’s self and on others can be a collectives strength, an individual’s persistence and sometimes an unperceived stableness.

Although the house itself is not a living thing it has a determination of its own. The first paragraph of page three speaks about the house’s self-sufficiency, unalterable layout and lack of an understandable plan yet it was “fixed, impregnable, [had] all its accumulations necessary… were there to stay” the rest of the story is about how this impacts everyone else in the community. The unperceived stableness of Mrs. Fullerton’s house is a refreshing display of luck, the house was there before the town grew, she is an elderly strange woman but of all the people...

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