How would you describe the character of the narrator in Daly's short story "Sixteen?"

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beateach | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Maureen Daly uses a first person narrator in her short story “Sixteen.” As the story begins, the narrator, who is the protagonist, goes to great lengths to let the reader know that she is worldly in a teenaged sort of way. She knows what the latest styles are, she reads the current editorials, and listens to the radio. She wants you to know that she is not just a silly girl. When she ventures out to the skating rink on a cold winter night, she describes the beauty of the stars, the moon, the crunchy snow, and the sounds at the rink. It seems that she is an intuitive, detailed oriented, young woman in how she presents herself and cares for her things. She places her shoes out of the way in the skate shack to keep them safe. She is a rational thinker.

However, as soon as the young male skater takes her hand, all rationality ceases. She becomes a giddy young girl who purely enjoys skating and walking home with this young man. When they reach home, he says he will call her, which she firmly believes. She waits expectantly for days before coming to the realization that he will never call. This takes you back to the beginning of the story when she says, “Now don’t get me wrong. I mean, I want you to understand from the beginning that I’m not so really dumb.”

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