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An essay on ”The Sampler” by Ira V. Morris Essay Sample

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An essay on ”The Sampler” by Ira V. Morris Essay Sample

What defines us as a person? Is it how we look? Is it how rich we are, or how poor we are? This is a very complicated question, many people ask all the time. But is there really an answer to it? Isn’t it our acts and sayings that defines who you are. You act in a certain way, because you want people to look at you, in a certain way as well. I think everybody have tried to have this feeling, that you want to help someone, but you are afraid, that they might misunderstand your purpose. This is just the way our society is.

No one really wants help from others, we want to take care of ourselves, if it’s possible. The Sampler is a text by Ira V. Morris. The story is about a narrator who attends an old man. The old man comes every year to the shop, to sample puddings. The shop girl knows the old man well, because, he often comes to sample the puddings. It is Christmas time in the story and the narrator feels sorry for the old man, so he offers to buy him a pudding. The old man, then gets so ashamed, because he doesn’t want to look poor.

He tries to save the dignity, by buying the most expensive pudding, knowing very well, that he can’t afford it. The time and setting of the story, I would assume takes place in the 1933, because the story was published there. The story isn’t that long, as the event in the story only takes a couple of minutes. “The Sampler” unfolds in a store, that’s all we hear about the setting. “Now there’s one old gentleman, for instance, she told me”. As you can read here for example, the narrator is also the main character in the story.

As it is a first person narrator, it our only guide in the story, and he acts as a kind of observer for the readers. The narrator and main character doesn’t actually know a lot, like an omniscient narrator. He only knows what he sees, and what the girl in the shop tells him. “who comes here almost every week and samples each one of the puddings”, here you can see, that the girl tells him something about the man, that he didn’t know about. The main theme in the story is, that you can’t save the world singlehanded.

For example, in this story, he just wants to buy the old man a pudding, but he is mistaken. “Pardon me, sir, will you do me a favour? Let me purchase you one of these puddings. It would give me such pleasure. ” The old man gets ashamed, and instead of accepting the gift, he declines it. Because the narrator wants to help the old man by buying him a pudding, the narrator hopes the old man will be pleased, and because of that, the narrator will feel a little good, because he helped an old man. This is supposed to be a good deed, and his intentions I good, but it actually makes the old man feel ashamed.

Another theme in the story is generosity. This is both illustrated by the narrator, but also the shop girl. “Well let him come”, the shop girl says, as it is told that he comes every year, and tries the puddings. This shows something about the girl, it shows she’s a caring person, because she lets the old man sample all the puddings, even though she knows he isn’t buying one. The text “The Sampler” comes with a very deep message I think. I think it shows, that everything isn’t based on how “good” of a person you are, or how many good deeds you have made.

In this text, the narrator does a good deed, but the old man doesn’t see it that way, he gets a little offended. If you see it from the old man’s perspective, I can see why gets a little ashamed and offended, because the narrator makes him look poor. Maybe he is poor, but I don’t think nobody would want to admit that they are, and that they can’t afford a pudding. I think you should really think about, who you are trying to help, and if it’s really helping them, or are you just doing it for your own pleasure.

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