A Bolt of White Cloth
Judging by the title “A Bolt of White Cloth” I feel that this story will revolve around this cloth and it will symbolize something important about life. I don’t see this story going anywhere interesting and I don’t think I will enjoy it. I feel that this story will be too bland and too descriptive. The initial conflict happens very quickly and is on the first page. The mysterious old man is willing to give away his white cloth only on the condition that the couple will continue loving each other in the future. I think the old man is trying to renew profound values (that many people forget over time) to this young couple. One part that struck me, in the small caption that I read, was when the old man declared, in the sentence at the bottom on the first page, “You can only buy my cloth with love,” he said. This was a striking line because items in life now revolve around money, and this man clams that in order to acquire this cloth all you need to do is to love. Having read many stories very similar to this one in past English classes, I think that this story will go nowhere and revolve around a central idea, and have a message at the end.
A Bolt of White Cloth
This story fitted into the English course ‘mold’ criteria perfectly. It had symbolism and a good moral. Although I didn’t find this particular story that interesting, I still would like to compliment the writer, Leon Rooke. He picked a good idea and found a way to convey it through the use of a piece of cloth. I fell that this story was well written and pointed out certain human characteristics, like love, very effectively. Although the story did not capture my interest, nor change my outlook on life, I would still recommend it to other people. The problem that I picked up in the story was the diminishing love that people feel over time, and how they can take others for granted. I would imagine that the man in the story is supposed to have some kind of mysterious powers that go beyond this world. In the story he shows off this powers by reading the peoples minds, from the line on page 438 “
“I’ve got that,” she said. “I’ve had all three. Last year this time I had me a fourth, but it got run over. Up on the road there, by the tall trees, by a man in a car who didn’t even stop.” / “That would have been your cat,” he said. “I don’t know much about cats.” / I put down the washtub. My wife let her arms drop. We looked at him, wondering how he knew about the cat.
Another line that goes indebt into the mans mysterious powers is on page 441
The cloth was sheared clear and clean of his blot, yet it seemed to me the size of that bolt hadn’t lessened any. My wife saw it too. / “he’s got cloth for all eternity,” she said. “He could unroll that cloth till doomsday”
In this story I believe that the cloth symbolizes the bond between the couple and I also think that the cloth symbolizes love as well. The man says on page 444
“should you ever stop loving,” he said, “you shall lose this cloth and all else. You shall wake up one morning and it and all else will no longer be where you left it. It will all be gone and you will not know where you are. You will not know what to do with yourself. You will wish you’d never been born.
I do not really believe that the cloth would do this but I think the man is trying to say that there is nothing left after love. Once you no longer love, you have nothing left.
I believe that this story could have been shortened and the man could have been described in more detail. In spite of this, I think that the story had a powerful message and opened up on an old subject very well.
I believe that the title has a clear indication of what is going on in the story. It is going to be about people trying to find an apartment. After reading the first page it is evident that the story is the couple trying to find an apartment. Their time is very short and they need to find apartment quickly; but they also encounter delay and stumbling blocks along the way, like paper work. I think that the couple (mainly the woman) are getting very frustrated and at any moment, they will break down and take radical action to get what they want. There is a part in the story that struck me. It’s where the man pulls his wife away from the clerk and feels sympathy towards the clerk, even though he has been through the same ordeal. He still does seem to be as crazy as she is about the whole process. I think they will run into large problems and explode into a furious rage, but they will probably learn a lesson in the process.
I found this story to be very creative and interesting. I liked the ending and I thought that many big issues were brought up during the story. I liked how the authors Harvey and Audrey Bilker had you guessing what was going to happen right to the end.
I felt that the story was well written, and the way it was presented, got my attention immediately. Within a few paragraphs, the story went from a two people looking for an apartment, to two people ready to kill another person to get an apartment. I wondered what kind of society this was, and I was surprised to find near the end that it was based in America. It is obvious that the author is trying to make a point about where society is possibly heading, and how society could turn out in the future. The whole story was outrageous, but that is what I enjoyed about it. It had me wondering from the beginning “Where is this story going?” Obviously, it kept my interest, and kept me reading. The author took an everyday event like looking for an apartment, and made a statement about over-population and radical bureaucracy.
After reading the story, I realized that the tile was not so much about looking for an apartment, but rather about “hunting”. I thought it was a clever title, but only after I read the story.