Lost. Once again. How did I manage to wound up in a situation where I have no control over the outcome? I bet you know that feeling. I bet we all do. The feeling of no longer being the master of our own faith.
Everyone who has ever been heartbroken has differently felt that way at some point.
This is exactly the case in Chad Pelley’s short story “I Don’t Dream of Genie”, where the main character, Sherry, has just been broken up with.
The short story especially focuses on the separation and how she deals with her new single status.
The story is primarily based on Sherry’s thoughts, which results in an informal language.
It becomes particularly apparent in the lines 90-98, where Sherry talks about her failed attempt to control her dreams and how frustrated it makes her, “But c’mon, how the fuck are you supposed to do that?” (P. 3, l. 95).
The cursing and use of contractions make it seem like she is having a dialogue with someone – she might be talking to the reader. This paragraph also has italics, which are used to express a change in intonation and stress of some words, “almost wake up” (P. 3, l. 94).
They show that the narrator is annoyed, angry or indicate her sarcastic attitude towards the specific topic she is talking about. There are also several pop-culture references in this section, which further contributes to the informal style.
So does the stream of consciousness narrative method, which is illustrated when Sherry jumps from one thought to another, “ I couldn’t even remember what I’d dreamt about when I woke up the next morning. But that Christopher Reeve: what a handsome man in his day.” (P. 3, ll. 92-93).
The use of this particular method makes it feel like we are taking a boat down the stream of Sherry’s thoughts.