World Cup of Literature, Round One
“Kick off is set for the near paragraphs with Cabo Verde playing Lebanon taking the field in today’s friendly,” the commentator announced over the speaker. “ Let’s have a look at the starting lineups for today’s matchup. Cabo Verde are starting The Last Judgement by Fatima Bettencourt, while Lebanon are starting Vienna by Sahar Mandour.”
The Last Judgement is a short story that follows a women in an apocalyptic sort of world where she is surrounded by wreckages, while Vienna follows a general chapter of a young woman’s love life.
In this match up, I will be determining the winner by their use of elements of fiction. These include; Theme, Conflict, Characters, and Tone and style. I will also be adopting a soccer goal type scoreboard where each element amounts to one goal.
The main theme discussed in The Last Judgement is Death, as the protagonist, saves Venus with her dead ex-lover from tragedy. She does not question this as she is in a dream state . The main theme in Vienna is identity and this is shown through the protagonists thoughts about the name of her yet to be born child, and how her relationship blossomed with her father due to him picking a suitable name. Although they are both great stories, I am going to award this goal to Vienna as I believe it utilises different literary techniques to a higher level when compared to The Last Judgement. Vienna take a quick lead 1–0.
The conflict or problem that is in The Last Judgement is about the protagonist saving a work of art with an ex-lover from an apocalyptic scene, while Vienna’s conflict is of her arguments with her late spouse over the name of their child and also her trying to cover up her adultery. Comparing the two, I feel like Vienna’s conflict is a bit rushed and does not have the same intensity when compared to The Last Judgement so I will award this goal to The Last Judgement as it puts more of an emphasis on the Conflict throughout the piece. 1 all.
Characters are the backbone of the story. They can give the reader an in depth view into how the quality of the story is. The Last Judgement only has three Characters, and little is known about them. It is difficult to have a rich backstory for the characters in a short story, but I believe that The Last Judgement did not put enough resources to cover that aspect. Nonetheless, It was enough to give the reader the general gist of the characters. On the other hand, Vienna has multiple characters, with their own narratives. It gives the reader a more relatable scene as a lot of the characters thoughts are not fully delved into, allowing the reader to make assumptions in a way that keeps them invested in the story. Vienna does this in an interesting manner, and thus I believe Vienna takes this goal. 2–1 Vienna’s way.
Tone and Style
Tone and Style is the most important element in a short story and I believe a lot of writers do not create it correctly. Both stories had distinct tones that where easy to notice, with The Last Judgement utilising longer sentences and more complex words to create a more dramatic tone and Vienna using simpler words to create a more sombre feel. This is because the story is of the Women, Vienna, recalling her past. She is saying it to the reader. Vienna uses tone and style to such a point that when she is left by her recent Fiancee, despite her committing some horrid acts, the reader still feels a little bit guilty and sad. On the other hand, The Last Judgement wraps up by practically saying “it was all a dream,” and although this may seem cheap, it then illustrates to the viewer how dreams come and go. They are stories that can be dreamt over and over in ones lifetime, thus giving the viewer different stories to enjoy. This correlates nicely with the story itself being a story. However, comparing the two I will have to award this goal to Vienna due to the sole fact that it was successful in creating a certain emotion in me through Tone and Style. 3–1 Vienna’s way.
“As the match wraps up in the 90th minute Lebanon have taken home the win with a final score of 3–1,” the commentator announced over the speaker as Cabo Verde fans spread to the exits.