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George Talbot’s Critique of “The Neighborhood Commandant” by Liz Dolan ©

In Uncategorized on December 20, 2011 at 12:50 am

Gertrude Meganhardt lives year round in a seaside neighborhood. Within the first three hundred words of “The Neighborhood Commandant” readers get plenty of story, setting, characterization, mood and potential conflict. Her territory is trespassed by a “shaggy-haired young man in baggy jeans and a black tee” seen behind a neighbor’s house. It’s March, and many of the homeowners have left until the warm weather returns, including Jim, who owns the house where Gert sees the man. He’s a plumber, checking out a leak, which is enough to disarm most of Gert’s apprehension, but readers are given an inkling the story isn’t finished with his character. The man’s reappearance at the end of “The Neighborhood Commandant” is not unexpected, but the circumstances are unpredictable and add a big dose of tension and crisis. Read the rest of this entry »

Ed Lebowitz’s Critique of The Neighborhood Commandant by Liz Dolan ©

In Uncategorized on December 20, 2011 at 12:46 am

The theme of this story is embodied in the title, “The Neighborhood Commandant.” “Commandant” refers to a military officer in charge of a particular force or institution. In this story, the main character, Gertrude Meganhardt, is a loner who lives full-time in a resort community where most owners come only in summer. She is a self-appointed commandant in that she enforces the rules of courteous behavior in her part-time neighbors, keeps alert for problems and notifies the police when she sees them. The author’s intent is to demonstrate the natural and logical consequences of this attitude, especially in someone who is angry about being mistreated in her past. Read the rest of this entry »