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The following discussion will be about a Short Story Meneseteung which is written by Alice
Munro. The author p ...
The following discussion will be about a Short Story Meneseteung which is written by Alice
Munro. The author put it in the collection Friend of My Youth (1990). The word "Meneseteung"
has two meanings: it is the name of the river discovered by Champlain, as well as the start of the
menses (menstrual flow) mentioned in section V. Munro's love of the his tory of rural Ontario,
Canada, where she grew up, inspired the narrative, as did many of her previous works. When you
first read the storey, it may seem complex. Munro employs a third -person narrator who goes
from the 1800s to the 1980s. External sources o f information, like newspaper clippings and book
extracts, disrupt the narrative and lead the reader to get disoriented, and the narrator's credibility
is called into question towards the end of the tale, which may prompt some readers to question
the story 's aim.
The author of Alice Munro's short storey "Meneseteung" wishes to praise Almeda Roth, a
fictitious late -nineteenth -century poet. Her inspiration stems from the fact that nothing is known
about Roth save where she lived and some family h istory, both of which are described in the
introduction to Roth's "Offerings," a collection of Roth's poetry, but even if there was any
information, "Meneseteung" leaves a lot to the imagination (King) . The Vidette, the local
newspaper in Roth's hometown, published an article on her. ―April 22, 1903,‖ says the article.
In "Meneseteung," Alice Munro delves further into a familiar subject than she has previously; all
while weaving a fascinating and complex tale. I'm talking about the crucial exercise of
investigating the past despite the absence of solid proof, despite the fact that the explorer can't
leave the present, and despite the reality that any discovered truth — however true it may be —
will almost definitely not be what really occurred (Jamieson) .
The first part of the story begins with a brief poem by Almeda Joynt Roth, a nineteenth -century
lady, as do all of the subsequent sections. The narrator, whos e gender is never stated, provides
some history on the publication of Roth's one and single novel, Offerings, and then gives a
characterization of Roth based on a picture at the front of the book that the narrator is gazing at.
The narrator reads from the book's prologue, which provides a brief background of the poet's life,
including her family's migration to Canada West's frontier (modern -day Ontario) and her family's
death. Roth discusses her passion for poetry, which she resorted to since she lacked the skills to
do other crafts popular among women at the time, such as crocheting. The narrator now takes
over the narrative, listing all of the poetry in the book, the most of them are about nature or
family (encyclopedia) .
it is about a frontierswoman who existed in the late 1800s in the Canadian province, Canada, and
whose independent spirit smooths out a livelihood as an artist instead of the traditional duties
given to women at the time. Each of the six parts of the short tale starts with a few words penned
by Almeda Joynt Roth, the narrative's heroine and narrator. The poems are from a collection
called Offerings, which was published in 1865 during a time when a woman's role was
considered to be that of a wife and mother, rather than that of an unmarried poet. The narrator
remarks on Almeda's picture within the book, describing her as plain and gray -haired, despite the
fact that she is just twenty -five years old at the time.
The narrator of the second part of the tale use s the local newspaper, the Vidette, to provide
information about everyday life in 1879 in Almeda's tiny Ontario town. It is then pointed out that
although Almeda's home front a respectable street, her rear bedroom, which she used to spend
night, faces a pa rt of the neighborhood that no good lady would enter. The researcher also refers
to material in the Vidette on Almeda's next -door neighbor , Jarvis Poulter, a wealthy widower.
Jarvis Poulter, who came a few years earlier and resides two lots down from Roth , is introduced
in the third section. Poulter is a widower who has a habit of stealing water and coal supplies in
order to save money. This reality is referred to in the Vidette, which, according to the presenter,
spreads stories and innuendos that today's publications would be considered libelous . Poulter
came to town in search of oil, but instead found salt, and has since become a rich businessman
(Gale) . Poulter and Roth are shown talking about his company together, prompting a barely
veiled remark in th e Vidette implying that they may be dating. The author reveals that Roth isn't
quite an old maid and that she is considering marrying Poulter, but that she is expecting for him
to make the first move to show his interest, as is customary at the period. Rot h, according to the
narrator, does not want to shape a guy the way other women mould their spouses (DeFalco) .
Roth is eagerly awaiting a sign of Poulter's interest, but she would be unhappy if they went on a
rural date since she would not be able to medita te on nature in quiet as she normally does.
According to the narrator, Roth takes sedatives for sleeplessness prescribed by her doctor but
avoids nerve medicine drops since they cause her to have violent dreams. According to the
doctor, Roth needed to be more active, and her problem would be solved if she married. She
decides to make grape jelly one day, and when she goes to bed, the grape pulp is still straining.
She hears noises outside and recognizes them as coming from the rowdy inhabitants of Pearl
St reet. She tries to shut them out, but she thinks she hears a murder. She wants to look into it, but
falls asleep before gathering the courage. She has a dream in which she sees an imagined bird
asking her to move the wheelbarrow when she wakes up early in the morning. This strange -
sounding term alludes to the wheelbarrow in which Queen Aggie was transported by the boys.
When Roth looks out the window, she sees a woman pressed up against her fence, whom she
assumes is dead. She runs out of her house in her jammies, panicked, and calls Jarvis Poulter to
help her with the dead woman (Capo) . Poulter is enraged at first, but he becomes even more
nasty when he learns that the woman on Roth's fence is not dead, but simply passed out after too
much drinking. The woman's animal -like behavior, as well as Poulter's callousness, both shock
and offen d Roth. Poulter, on the other hand, admires Roth's desperation and ultimately invites
her to church with him.
The last part, unlike the others, is recounted completely via two Vidette clips and some
contemporary comments from the narrator. The first news i tem details Roth's mental
deterioration and death, which the newspaper claims was caused by harassment by young people
similar to those who harassed Queen Aggie. Poulter died less than a year later, according to the
second news item. The narrator recounts visiting to Almeda Roth's grave in the current day in the
closing commentary, and speaks about how individuals create connections from historical
evidence. The narrator then makes a disclosure in the final line, implying that all that has gone
before has l ikewise been constructed from historical evidence, and that the storyteller has no idea
whether the tale actually occurred that way or not (Munro) .
Theme of Meneseteung
A Woman's Life in "Meneseteung" Alice Munro is regarded as one of the greatest short st orey
authors of all time. Her works are notable for their keen accuracy and meticulous attention to
detail. Within the confines of the short tale, she is capable of achieving an amazing distillation of
meaning (Cram) . Munro mostly concentrates on imitating regular people in the most outlandish
situations and in great detail, allowing them to disclose their psychological guts and their
function in society, as well as in the short tale. Munro explores profound psychological feelings
and their origins in socie tal shame in her short tale "Meneseteung." Ahe demonstrates her
concern for women in society, their difficulties, and ultimately coming to grips with their own
history (Bigot) .
From the above findings it can be concluded that, There is no one -size -fits -all approach to telling
a narrative. Whether it's the descriptive language used, the details highlighted or ignored, or the
emotional reaction that's being elicited, storytelling is hampered by humanity's limited sensory
abilities and our own prej udices. It is unavoidable, even if it isn't ideal. The short tale
"Meneseteung" by Alice Munro deals with the idea of how a narrative may be told, who can tell
it, and how a storey is created. Meneseteung seems to be a short account of the life of Almeda
Roth, a writer. Almeda and her work are briefly described in the first part of the story1. The tale
suffers from the drawbacks of a first -person narration.
Bigot, Corinne. "Alice Munro Country: Essays on Her Works I, JR (Tim) Struthers
(ed.)( 2020)." Short Fiction in Theory & Practice 10.2 (2020).
Capo, Beth Widmaier. Gale Researcher Guide for: The New Custom of the Country: Alice
Munro, Margaret Atwood, and Marilynne Robinson . Gale, Cengage Learning, 2018.
Cram. "What Is The Theme Of Meneseteung By Alice Munro - 1444 Words | Cram." Cram.com .
N.p., 2021. Web. 15 July 2021.
DeFalco, Amelia. "4.―Parodies of Love‖: Demands of Care in Alice Munro." Imagining Care .
University of Toronto Press, 2018. 93 -108.
encyclopedia. "Meneseteung | Encyc lopedia.Com." Encyclopedia.com . N.p., 2021. Web. 15 July
Gale, Cengage Learning. A Study Guide for Alice Munro's" Meneseteung" . Gale, Cengage
Jamieson, Sara. "Reading Alice Munro: 1973 –2013 by Robert Thacker." University of Toronto
Qu arterly 87.3 (2018): 383 -384.
King, Michelle L. "Revisioning grandeur: an exploration of intertextuality in Alice Munro and
Virginia Woolf." (2021).
Munro, Alice. "Meneseteung." N.p., 2021. Web. 15 July 2021.
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