The Devils in OurselvesThe Story Devils, by Cynthia Kadohata is a look into the life of a young girllooking to protect her family in any way possible.
The story is based on a real lifeexperience of the author and shows how we can, at times, let the devil in ourselves comeout and play. The author, now living in Los Angeles, writes this as almost a warning; butthe reader gets the feeling that she would do what she did again, in a second.The story takes place after World War II in the town of Chesterville, Arkansas. Itwas a small town with small town problems, and had a Japanese community living withinit.
The story was written in 1989 and reflect the uncertainties of the post World War IIperiod. Within the small community there lived a woman that had been through a recentdivorce, and was raising three children, Kate, the author, and her brother Sean. Becausethe mother is having a problem making ends meet, she begins to go to church and meetsthe antagonist, Mr. Mason.The story is told by the author in the body and mind of an eight year old.
It is afirst-person narration and she is playing the part of the protagonist. The point of viewremains constant throughout the story, which gives you only the viewpoint of the authorto get facts from. Although this may be a possibly unreliable perspective, due to selectivememory, the story is told in a straightforward manner suggesting truth and honesty.During the story the author realizes that Mr. Mason is a violent man.
This islearned through several instances, such as when he forced the mother into a crying fit inher bedroom in the beginning of the story. He was also violent when he threw a rock at ayoung boy that had wandered over to the yard to play. These incidents forced the authorto do something that she did not relish, but deemed necessary in order to save her familyfrom this man; since she new her mother was planning on marrying him. She lied to hermother and told her that Mr. Mason had hit her.
At first it wasnt believed, but when herquiet sister Kate backed up her story, the mother sought to separate herself from this man. The family moved to Chicago and the author never saw Mr. Mason again.As was stated before, the story was believable because of the authors almostrelenting of a story that she had kept inside for a long time. It was almost as if she wassorry for what she had done, but felt that it was necessary to eliminate her perceivedthreat, Mr.
Mason. In this way the author could almost be seen as an antagonist to Mr.Mason. They almost shifted roles, and the author found herself with the power to hurthim. Another way that helped the story to be believable, was the comedy relief offered bythe authors brothers chair crashing to the floor when the mother was telling them thatshe had been baptized. It was a well timed addition to the story.
I enjoyed this story andfeel that I had a connection with the author and the main character, for I to have somedevils inside.Category: English