In “Your Life as a Girl” I think Sittenfeld manages to effectively capture a specific type of girlhood. Of course due to her limited perspective, it would be impossible for her to effectively capture the essence of a universal girlhood. It’s obvious that although she writes the story in the second person, she isn’t actually trying to tell the story of the reader but rather that of Anna, the girl that the story is about. Perhaps a first or third person approach would have been more effective? I often found myself discouraged by her story. I could not at all relate to the feelings of wishing to be raped and thought that was quite sad.
I found the stories in Red to be slightly more uplifting. I particularly related to “Alone” because I also enjoy being alone and find myself in practically the exact same scenarios as Lindsay time and time again. One of my favorite things to do is, “completely test what it means to be unobserved.” (Red, 205).
It makes complete sense that “Apiarian Days” was in my opinion the most well-written out of the stories in Red. Because of this reason and others, I found Samantha Gillogly’s tale of obsessive spelling-bee study sessions to be extremely entertaining. On the other hand, like in “Your Life…” I found it less easy to relate to. (Probably because I’ve never studied that hard for anything in my life.)
“Pediatrics” was difficult for me to relate to in the same way but it was still very touching and I could relate to Jaclyn’s story on a different level (because my mother was similarly attacked and hospitalized when I was 15). Seeing how that experience affected my precious mother made me want to study and learn more about the hardships women face and how to overcome them.