A Comparison of Contemporary and Romance Literature

Contemporary literature in the form of a short story consists of a plot,
characters, point of view, setting, and theme (2). These elements can vary a
great deal from one story to the next. An author of a short story also reveals
a tone and a mood shown by his or her style of writing. Although romance
literature contains the elements mentioned above, they are very different than
those in short stories and are somewhat static from one tale to the next.
Romance literature is about the adventures of knights and the organization of
chivalry (794). A romance does not take place in a normal setting, but in
idealized worlds such as imaginary castles, gardens, or forests (794). A
romance contains mysterious and supernatural events (794). Although there are
many differences between contemporary and romance literature, the one difference
that distinguishes them the most is the characters. A main character in
contemporary literature leads a very different life than one in romance
Neighbor Rosicky is a short story of an old farmer, Anton Rosicky,
reflecting back on his life. Early in the story, when Anton Rosicky is in the
doctor\'s office, he learns that he has a bad heart and doesn\'t have much time
left to live. He then returns home, plunges into a chair, and begins to sew.
While he sews, Rosicky lets his mind run back over his life. He has had many
memorable experiences. Rosicky has lived in London, New York, and now in
Nebraska. Rosicky, formerly a tailor, now makes a living farming with his
children. Rudolph, Rosicky\'s oldest son, has some trouble supporting his wife,
Polly. Rosicky makes many sacrifices to help Rudolph\'s marriage stay together.
He loans the family car and gives some money to Rudolph, even though Rosicky is
very poor himself. Spring arrives, and his children are busy working the fields.
When no one else is around, Rosicky, disregarding his doctor\'s orders, rakes
some thistle plants out of one of his alfalfa fields, but the work is too tough
on his heart. Rosicky dies the next day (48-71).
Contents of the Dead Man\'s Pockets is another short story of someone
analyzing his life. Tom Benecke is a workaholic who has a month\'s worth of his
work scribbled on a yellow sheet of paper. The wind blows the sheet of paper
out of his eleven story apartment window onto the ornate corner ornament of the
ledge about five yards away. Tom climbs out of the window onto the ledge.
Immediately after he reaches the sheet of paper, Tom looks down and becomes
petrified with fear. His life passes before his eyes, and he knows that he
won\'t make it back into his apartment alive. He begins to realize how foolishly
he has lived his life and contemplates that no one will be able to identify his
body for a long time. All they will find is the yellow sheet of paper in his
pockets. Tom finally gathers up enough courage to punch out his window and
safely makes it back into his apartment. He throws the yellow sheet of paper
back onto his desk and goes to find his wife, who has gone to a movie. As he
turns to pull the door closed, Tom sees the yellow sheet of paper sail out of
the glassless window. Tom bursts into laughter and closes the door (98-109).
The Arthurian Legends are a cycle of stories that has been shaped and
passed down through over fourteen hundred years of English history. The legend
of King Arthur tells of the adventures of an early king of Britain and the
knights and ladies who made up his royal court at Camelot. It tells of a world
filled with warriors armed with lance, sword, and armor. It speaks of jousts,
tournaments, wizards, falconry, enchantresses, damsels in distress, wars, quests,
and the code of chivalry. It is a legend that talks of a great king who came to
throne from what seemed to be nowhere and of a noble idea that ends in tragedy
The characters in short stories are more interesting than those who we
meet in life because we can know them better (47). A short story takes us
inside a character\'s mind and lets us experience their inner thoughts and
feelings (47). In both Neighbor Rosicky and Contents of the Dead Man\'s Pockets
we read paragraph after paragraph of the main character\'s thoughts. We also see
the true nature of the character by watching how they react when being placed in
a crucial situation (47). Rosicky is told