Fish Cheeks and Champion of the World

Every person has a past, whether it is good or bad, it is a true story of one’s life and it cannot be changed or wiped away. There are two short stories in the Academic book, Bedford Reader; “Champion of the World” by Maya Angelou and “Fish Cheeks” by Amy Tan, both authors tell the reader their own story. Maya Angelou and Amy Tan, who were growing up in different environments and communities, have different experiences and different ways of telling their stories. In regard to comparing the two authors Angelou and Tan, Angelou comes out as more effective on using description to depict her sense of isolation from the dominant culture in the time and place of her story, while Tan is more effective on using narration to tell her story.

In “Champion of the World,” Angelou tends to have more elements in her article. Her depiction is meticulous. At the beginning of the story, she first introduces Uncle Willie’s Store as an environment setting and uses it as a basic setting throughout the story. Angelou then starts to give a picture of the people’s behaviors in the store, for example, “Women sat on kitchen chairs, dining-room chairs, stools, and upturned wooden boxes. Small children and babies perched on every lap available and men leaned on the shelves or on each other” (104 Angelou). She depicts the image of the store before the fight begins, and after that, the voice from the radio is introduced in the story and to the first person view, Angelou uses third-person narration on the radio commentary.

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At the time when the radio is broadcasting the fight, she has not forgotten to insert some setting description about the situations in the Store, for example, “There were only a few calls for RC Colas, Dr. Pepper, and Hires Root Beer,” she makes the reader feel like they are part of the audience listening to the broadcasting in the Store. Angelou put her message in the middle of the article, she explains her anger, she fe…