Suleri's Pay-Off and Set-Up Anecdotes
Charles Vallely '06, English 171, Sages, Satirists, and New Journalists Brown University, 2003
I had strongly hoped that they would say sweetbreads instead of testicles, but I was wrong. 
And so we were not really that surprised, then, to find ourselves living through the summer of the trials by fire. It climaxed when Dadi went up in a little ball of flames, but somehow sequentially related were my mother's trip to England to tend her dying mother, and the night I beat up Tillat, and the evening I nearly castrated my little brother, runt of the litter, serious-eyed Irfan. [10-11]
1. How does this technique recreate memory, or stories told from memory? How does the way in which Suleri addresses memory differ from the way Dillard does?
2. The second chapters of both
Meatless Daysand Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuffshare the title of their respective books. Is this a matter of coincidence, or does it suggest a similar structuring technique? What is the effect of having the book title also as a chapter title?
3. On page 46, Suleri acknowledges her own text and its devices: "(...Dale: if you will stay now within the privacy of parentheses, then I'll not disturb the ways you are invisible between us. So stay, be gray-eyed among those sentences for a brief time, and then you can go for good.)" What is the effect? Have we seen anything like this in other works?
4. When Suleri begins her stories with the pay-off, how does she end them? With a repetition of the pay-off, or is there another payoff (like the end of the first chapter)?
Last modified 2 May 2005