Adding Susan O’neill to the Literary Canon

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Jeff White

Professor Anne Marie Fowler


24 November 2010

Adding Susan O’Neill to the Literary Canon

Many well known authors like Poe, Hemingway, and J. K. Rowling grace the presence of the literary canon for their writing and use of literary elements. For a writer, such as Susan O’Neill, author of Don’t Mean Nothing, Short Stories of Viet Nam, to be included into the literary canon, the writer customarily is highly valued by scholars for their artistic value and for their contribution to what they have done for literature. A writer’s use of literary elements, assist the author in grabbing a reader’s attention and to pull the reader into a fantasy world completely developed by their creative writing ability. One must prove that the author’s work is based on quality and that the context is relevant to ongoing trends or changes in social environment and the literary world. Even though the author may have published many works of literature and or have been awarded many honors, their work must be capable of helping others in understanding why, the use of literary elements are so important in their writing endeavors. These Viet Nam stories are both compelling and witty from a valuable point of view. Susan O’Neill’s creativity in the development of setting, point of view, and character development contribute greatly to why she should be included into the literary canon.

The use of a setting in short stories helps the writer to create imagery so that the reader can become familiar with the stories surroundings. The setting can assist the writer in the stories development, by painting a picture of where the story takes place, as well as when it happened. Don’t Mean Nothing, Short Stories of Viet Nam, the title of Susan O’Neill’s book provides a reader with a visual description of the setting from the beginning. The stories take place in the war torn country of Viet Nam. According to Aiping Zhang, author of Enchanted Places, the way an author creates...