Short Summary. In?the?story?Birthday?Wallace?Wong?is?just?getting?out?of?a? relationship.?The?woman?that?Wallace?was?seeing?had?a?son?named?Welby.?Wallace?develops?a?strong?connection?with?Welby.?Wallace?wanted?to?take?Welby?to?a?baseball?game,?but? was?stopped?by?his?father.Walla
1. “Birthday” By: David Wong Louie Presentation By:
2. Short Summary In the story Birthday Wallace Wong is just getting out of a relationship. The woman that Wallace was seeing had a son named Welby.
Wallace develops a strong connection with Welby.
Wallace wanted to take Welby to a baseball game, but was stopped by his father.
Wallace and the father get into an argument which forces Wallace to lock himself in a room of the house.
After realizing that the boy is not there he tries to decide what to do for Welby for his birthday since they cant go to the game.
He remembers that the father was baking a cake so he goes downstairs to finish baking the cake because he knows that he would love the cake.
3. Characters Wallace Wong-a man who tries to please everyone, daring, caring
Sylvie-a very needy women who seems to want attention
Welby-a child who is a member of a broken home, The story does not really tell much about his personality.
Frank-jealous, caring, large man who cares about his physical condition
Wong’s parents-forever concerned with Wong,
4. Critical Questions 1. What is the significance of the title?
The title of the story is significant because the story takes place on Welby’s birthday.
2. How is the story told? Who is the narrator? What perspective is used? What is the tone of the language? Is the narrator reliable?
The story is told in the first person perspective, and Wallace is the character telling the story. Wallace has a confused tone in the story because of all the troubles he has been going through. He is relevant to the story because he is the one telling his own story.
5. Critical Questions Continued 3. Look closely at the opening and ending. On what does the author and narrator focus?
The author focuses more on the ending because the reader can tell by all the tension that is put on Wallace and the father’s
4. How does the character transform in the story?
Wallace is transformed through the length of the story. Wallace gains courage which allows him to stand up to the father.
6. Critical Questions Continued 5. What is the major theme of the story? Explicate. Are there any minor themes?
The major theme of the story is how jealousy can lead to larger problems. If Frank were not so jealous over Wong’s relationship with Welby he might have a better relationship with Welby, Wong, and Welby’s mother. A minor theme of the story is the affects of a broken family. Broken families create problems such as jealousy and torn relationships.
6. Are there any allusions in the story that could add meaning to your interpretation?
The cake can be seen as an allusion for Frank’s personality. The layers of the cake can be seen as layers of affection for Welby, and Frank’s attempt to cover up his flaws so Welby sees him as the best father.
7. What are the symbols or other figurative elements in the story?
The symbols found in the story are the cake-as a symbol of Frank’s attempt for Welby’s affection, the baseball tickets as a symbol of Wong’s love for Welby, and the lock on Welby’s door signifying Welby’s independence.
7. Critical Questions Continued 8. What seems to be the author's primary goal/purpose in writing this short story?
The author is trying to show in broken families jealousy only causes more problems.
9. What is your reaction to this story? How does your reaction influence your reading?
My reaction to this story is one of sympathy towards children in broken homes as well as parents in this situation. My reaction influences my reading by causing me to view Frank, the jealous character, as an immature negative person.
8. The End Questions taken from http://www.westga.edu/~pburgey/Assignments/GroupPresentations.htm