“Small Pale Humans” Write Up by Edward Clarke


Daniel Spinks’ “Small Pale Humans” was quite enthralling for multiple reasons, the first and foremost being the exquisite, unique, and frequent characterization. This story pits us with a main character who talks calmly of attempted suicide, leaving his ever-faithful wife, a character who speaks proudly of nearly hitting pedestrians in a parking lot at 47 miles an hour, a character who discusses ecstatically his dangerous, nearly-fatal, daily driving techniques, while still wanting to throw up when a drive-thru cannot complete his order, as well as seeming to love his wife incredibly in his own way. The character and his thoughts show so much about him, and all his failed exploits, his little moments of sadness like the crying while eating the Arby’s sandwich that it kind of skips over quickly, quietly, the story itself seeming embarrassed of his tears. This inspires such sympathy and pity in readers because that can easily be related too. Spinks also used imagery, less frequently than characterization, in wonderfully unusual and appropriate metaphors throughout the piece, most of which also serve as more characterization for the main character.

During my brief study of this piece, I realized that one thing I really admired about it was the author’s ability to make the story quite chaotic at one’s first glance, yet have it become wonderfully deep and beautiful as the reader studied it further. I sincerely wish to be able to develop this skill.

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