Literature Workshop


 There is no contradiction to the conviction that form and content exists between the two stories of the sisterhood by Steven Millhauser and 2 pure girls by Camille Roy. Although these form and content might be present their relationship is extended by giving a new meaning to the two stories and reality. I have the belief that these two stories are related in the central themes of sisterhood, sexuality and parents of the girls. But along these lines of thoughts, there is a tendency to look at each text differently so as to bring into perspective the forms they depict as they move along. Literature views in terms of genre, imagery, word choice, character development, a plot and so on are evidently depicted in the two stories. For instance, Roy uses the words such as “eyes dry in the skull” to issue an imagery of how torture in prison is evidently visible by those who visit it for the first time during the period of conviction. Thus the central focus of this analytical review will be on how the two stories bring out a new dimension by the way the forms and contents in them relate purposefully.



  1. genre

 The central theme in the storyline of the sisterhood is about sisterhood. It is stated in its conceptual sense where girls sneak out of their parental homes in to thick forests during creepy nights and meet at central points where they involve in some unnatural acts that resemble witchcraft. A form of genre that is applicable into addressing the ever present desire of girls to issue some form of authority against their parents and society. In the confession of Warren, she addresses parents’ by telling them not to believe in the confession of Emily Gehring and believe in their daughters because the sisterhood was a noble cause aimed at issuing silence as their dedicated course and nothing else like homosexuality (Millhauser,3) Although such notations may be true in the subsequent analysis by the author, there is still that fear of the circle because of the essence of them meeting out at night, without permission from their parents and the actual dedication to silence. Thus it becomes apparent that girls in this society need to be heard and given trust as well as some form of respect not just object to be viewed without any noble reasoning and acceptance.

 b)Social Boundaries

 Through the central theme of silence these girls have shoved off any attempt by their parents to stop their circle into realizing its dead end. They take oaths of silence which avoids any individual from knowing what they do and at what extent they are willing to develop this relationship. For example, the narrator notes, Emily Gehring had failed to report that on May 30 she had been expelled from the sisterhood for violating the vow of silence.” (p.3) On the other hand parents are not given a chance to see what truly happens to their girls within the vicious circle of sisterhood. It took the efforts of Dr. Meyer whose daughter he believed was a member of the circle to foot-follow her through the dense forest and see for himself what really happens. Though he knew that this was a risky affair he was determined to break the border of relationship that limited parents from knowing what happens. Even after viewing them for a bout thirty five minutes he never managed to get close to them, but left after seeing the silence the girls observed next to a moonlight woods.

 Character development and plot

 In light of the story many characters are depicted with traits resembling people who refer to lies as the only way to create controversy and truth at the same time. This is evident even in the opening remark by the author where he views a world that where accusation and hysterical rumor…here-say and gossip have thoroughly replaced the careful assessment of evidence that impartiality (truth) seems of the devil’s party.”(p.1)He offers the audience a calmer tone as the only way to refer to the truth. Thus within the play, girls are seen to increase the trait of being liars where even a serious testimony such as that by Ghering Emily leads to the death of another girl belonging to the circle, Lavinia, who died after taking up 20 sleeping pills belong to her father. At the height of the lies are deaths of fellow members who seem irritated and frustrated by lies of fellow members. Although DR. Meyer offers a contradictory statement to clear up the air over the lies of homosexuality, the initial rumors created by Emily still hits headlines in all the vicious minds of people in the town.

 D) Imagery

 Imagery is applied in the text to explain the pains that people go through in order to clear up the lies and reputations in their lives which are dented by lies of others. In many forms of the play, the narrator brings his characters from geography of liars, just from the beginning. He even offers silence as a better solution and calm tone as another. But still, his characters in the play offer the best painful repercussions what lies can cause in a society. He says, “Lavinia sat with her arms hugging her raised knees.”(p.4) In reality arms are not suppose to hug legs rather fellow human beings. The notion here is to illustrate the condition that Lavinia was trying to show to the reader of how hopeless her situation had manifested.

 2. Pure Girls:

 The storyline of this plot is depicting different links between form and content in a way that elaborates a new meaning for the audience. In its abstract sense, the story offers forms of imagery, plot, character development and other forms which are essential in explaining the reason for the narration. First the plot involves a first person narration of a girl who in help of his sister (Claire and June) undergo some serious challenges which are a resolve of almost all teenge girls in the world. They include: sexuality, drugs, relationships, family, school, race and at some point music. Though these issues affect teenagers, our focus is to see how their application offers any insight in the form applied therein (imagery, plot, character, genre) and much more.

 Physical positioning of the text is in essence creating some form dimensional thought and vision. The narrator seems to wish to illustrate the generational thought how teenagers think and how they prefer their issues to be handled with care and speed. The texts are positioned one page containing two columns and in each column words are arranged moving to the right with no respect to traditional writing rules. The narrator offers a dynamic approach which illustrates the shift from traditional writing into new generation ideas which seem to move so quickly with no respect to old thinking and style.

 The choice of poetic verse and not traditional pros writing indicates the change in the status quo. In that poetic forms of writing can be merged with traditional story writing and the image brings a candid illustration and significance which comes from the naivety and exploratory mindset of teenagers. Also the application of bold words such as when they remember a visit to a bar-be-que and a man yelled, “YOU HONKIES GET THE FUCK OUT OF THIS NEIGHBORHOOD”.(Roy, p.6) The words are used to express the anger and frustration of individuals at different points of life and engagements.


 They are the pets that girls in the story keep to show how the middle class families are raised to care and protect animals in their lives. Though Claire sees the rats as small beings she values them that a relationship is created between the animals and her. Even at the point of separating from them she feels some void inside her after they are gone. It is such ironical in reality because rats should be a representation of unwanted beings in society and caring for them and not other human beings like Nick is just ironical.

 Sexual exploration

 The two girls seem to try to understand or experience sexuality at an early age where talks about it do not bother them. In the plot, “Today June woke me up with one of her creepy dreams: A man fucked me and my spine burned up. It’s not a bruise she explains. She shows me her forehead the man left his fingerprints there.”(Roy, 1) Such are the examples of words which are used to show the sexual exploration of the two girls where even in their dremas they still feel someone laying with them but in essence is just satirically untrue. The irony in these words does not show how good the girls are and how humble they might be but it illustrates their naivety in such bold matters.

 Story of teens

 The stories about teens are all full of drama and exploration about new ideas and things. “I have a movie in my head. I’m spying on it.”(p.2) Other than movies an image is created about their character where everything surrounds exploration and learning of adult issues. They think of movies, men and sexual matters, family relationships like their mothers and at some point they are involved in crime and social deviance against their friends or betrayal. A good example is when Sally was beaten and thrown into the bush, which also demonstrated the social boundary they promote against their fellows.

 Dream /hallucination-

 “June woke me up with the usual dream about a man fucking” The example here illustrates the meaning shown in sexual orientation and exploration. Young girls wish to have their first encounters with men at early stages of development and at some point they keep dreaming of it with the ‘man of their dreams.’ It’s an illusionary image created in the form of dreams as they grow, and that is why June was having one.

 Self reflection with no point

 Self reflection is evident is the manner in which they were relating to a man who wanted to shoot them because he thought they were at least lesbians. Being a lesbian does not make any point in the life of two pure sisters. If they wish to practice it nothing can actually stop them.

 Imagery is shown in relationships

 Imagery of torture and suffering when one is taken to prison after conviction by judge. “Imagine Nick’s grey patch of skin in prison his slim box getting cracked up the ass” (p.9)… “If Nick goes to prison, she mutters, his eyes’ll narrow into slits and dry up into his skull.”(p.10) These words are used in form of imagery to note the pain and torture that Nick will undergo while in prison after conviction where there is limited access to food and nothing seems good as in normal life. He will grow thinner like a slit and his eyes will sink inside his skull from the pain and torture of the prison life. The theme here notes of the need to address the psychological and physical torture that people under while in prison. Life is unbearable for new comers and it becomes necessary for people to analyze the truth while reforming convicts. Provision of food should be enough and rehabilitation should not be linked with torture and suffering in prison.

 Character development

 From the onset the form of character shown are between two girls who seem to belong to a single family and arrogance is highly demonstrated and ineptitude.

 Sisterhood- Watching the one on the ground. She’s wearing white shoes and yellow blouse, while another girl ponds her head into the dirt. (A gang thing. That was school. Cause and effect are beautiful, one tumbles after another down (Roy, 11). Also, this sisterhood character is shown in the way they wake each other up and how they love one another. “We belong to one another, words springing from dirt &grievance. Sisters.”(Roy, 1)


 In the article of Roy, racism is mentioned in limited version. Sally sprouted out here, where it’s so white it glows. And I was glad I did, she said, so she didn’t learn anything about racism (Roy,12). Three white girls miming the Supremes.(12) These illustrate the points of how ethnic diversity in the world is not appreciated but does around skin color.