Literary Analysis of "Friday Black"

In writing this short story, Nana Kwame incorporates a number of skills that substantially
identify him with John Cheever as far as the creative writing is concerned. Through "Friday
Black," the audience is convinced of the fact that writing fiction is a useful, intimate, and the
most necessary way of making sense of the life of humans and affirming its worth. The creativity
utilized by the author of this short story plays a huge role in ensuring that the piece stands out as
"Friday Black" utilizes very powerful language in passing its intended message. The
language is rhetorical and not very far from Shakespeare's. In other words, Nana's diction proves
to be as precise and straight to the point as possible, and the syntax is ringing. The actual
combination of the mentioned writing strengths is what makes the reading of the piece much
more comfortable. The setting of the short story is outstanding as it takes place in the suburbs.
On the first paragraph of the story, the narrator says "On my first, a man from Connecticut bit a
hole in my hole" (104). Connecticut is a middle-class suburb in America, and the statement
brings the point home. The style that Nana Kwame utilizes in "Friday Black" is also unique and
amazing in the sense that each sentence proves to be innovation; just as seen in a majority of
Cheever's literary works; "I know Richard would have me choose literary anything else. That's
half of why I chose it" (105). From this example, Nana Kwame sounds creative and is able to
develop the unfolding of the story using wit-full words. This kind of innovation is what makes
reading interesting.
Nana Kwame does not seem to care so much about the structure of the story. This is to
say that the author does not, in any way, seem to pay any kind of attention to similar stories that
ideally came before (i.e genre conventions). Nana is just as great as Cheever because he

effectively creates an interesting and flowing story by plotting intuitively. In "Friday Black," the
audience clearly gets the notion that the entire idea of plotting can be wholly subconscious in
cases where one is sufficiently experienced in writing and reading great stories. Besides, it is
important to note the fact that the "Friday Black" assumes the nature of stories written by
Cheever. It can be described as a narrative kind of circle. As the audience, we experience Nana
Kwame orbiting around as he tries to paint us a picture of his thoughts. At some point in the
short story, it seems as though he gets closer to the sun, then moves or orbits back out into the
dark distance, but finally returns. The narrator speaks about Wendy as the sales manager. They
explain how Wendy had brought in a pie for everybody that year, and everyone loved it except
the narrator. He explains how he does not eat anything that any person tries to shove down his
throat. However, the other colleagues were different as they loved the pie and ate it. They loved
it (110).
Majority of Nana Kwame's characters are adults, and they are full of corruption, adult
darkness, and confusion. Like Cheever's characters, they are conflicted, devious, adrift, and
alone. "Who knows what she put in the pie? I made it my mission to beat her. And I did. I
squashed her "(110). The characters do not have defiant-willed courage as well as the crystalline
stoicism like that of Hemingway. "I won't be alone with this, she's saying. They'll like me now.
She rushes towards me" (113). In this example of the short story, the character fears being
rejected, and does not seem as though she could take it if many others did not like her pie. Nana
Kwame further incorporates contradiction and counterpoint in formulating this interesting short
story. In doing so, he gives the narrator what can be described as two precisely opposite but
equally strong impulses. There is one point in the story where the first impulse of the narrator is
to confess. At this point, it sounds as though the narrator feels like placing all of their cards on

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the table. On the other hand, the narrator feels a contradictory and opposite impulse that proves
to be just as strong; to conceal, to evade. "The narrator does not seem to like Wendy's pie; not
because they are bad, but because they just don't like her. The pie is great, and everyone else love
it." In this case, therefore, it is quite clear that the narrator has issues of rebellion. This is why she
chooses not to have a bite at all.
The characters of this short story further seem to be locked in the actual struggles of
familial and suburban angst, and they tend to experience various moments of rebirth and
transcendence in nature on a regular basis. "I sit at one of the white tables in the food court that
does not have a corpse on it" (111). As a matter of fact, "Friday Black" falls under the category
of beautiful and great short stories that literary emulate John Cheever's style of composition and
creativity in general. In all of its aspects, this short story catches my attention and interest as one
of the readers or audience. I can recommend it to anyone who loves the freestyle creative kind of
writing. Nana Kwame must be commended. He did a great job here.


Adjei-Brenyah, N. K. (2018). Friday black.

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