Character Analysis: Letting Her Go

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Star Food is character driven in that the interaction and development or non-development of characters moves the narrative along. The rising action is the catching of the shoplifter. Letting her go is the denouement or resolution, but that narrative is not as important as what is happening internally with Dade. Even the setting is important in that the store seems to be in the middle between the poor and affluent parts of town, just as the town, Arcade, seems to sit beyond the dramatic weather of the west and the predictability of the east. Dade’s decision to let the shoplifter go reveals that he can take action. The author leaves the ending open to interpretation. Dade takes action but hasn’t really answered his own burning question of what he will do with his life. Taking over the store seems too simple and boring a…show more content…
He doesn’t need the special signal of the fighter jets to direct him, he needs to wake up to his possibilities. Dade shows compassion and empathy that his father lacks, but maybe he is not giving himself credit for being a bit more grounded than his mother who is looking to see her own big ideas realized by her son. Dade's parents have expectations about his future. His father expects Dade to apprentice and eventually take over the family grocery - a first seeming mundane existence - and his mother unwittingly exerts her own pressure on Dade in her quiet but persistent expectation of Dade's "big" discovery. Further pressurizing the situation, Dade's father tells Dade that "living in a shack" awaits the man who doesn't know what he wants. Dade sees his future in the shoplifter, whose appearance bespeaks the destitution and aimlessness his father has implied could be Dade’s future for want of the self-direction/industry his father represents while his mother represents self-realization/fulfillment. The shoplifter’s quiet confrontation is Dade’s sense of desperation about taking action and his sense of urgency is the antagonist
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