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Monday, July 17, 2017

Reader's Diary #1624- Mary Hallock Foote: A Cloud on the Mountain


Mary Hallock Foote's "A Cloud on the Mountain" is one of those stories that would make for great classroom discussions.

It involves a woman named Ruth Mary who's destiny seems largely out of her hands, due largely to the sexism of the times. Analyze this story from a feminist perspective. Her family, who doesn't seem to really understand her at all (or make any efforts to), has pretty much arranged a marriage for her. But Ruth Mary is rather preoccupied with a traveling stranger who, in the end, remains somewhat indifferent to her. Is this stranger the "cloud" on the mountain?

So, yes, I did enjoy the food for thought. I was, however, left with a few stray observations. The beginning is odd and lead me to believe that it would be a story of a missing, perhaps kidnapped, child. (It's nothing of the sort.) Speaking of odd, there's a bizarre character named Angy whose slight unexplained, idiosyncrasies are distracting to the story. Finally, the perspective seems to follow Ruth Mary but suddenly switches to the stranger. The change is jarring at the moment, but makes a little more sense in the end.

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