Cultural encounters can prove to be very enriching to all those involve, yet could prove very confusing and disrupting. In most cases these encounters lead to conflict of values, both at the individual and societal levels. Explore how cultural encounters are manifested in literary works, specifically short stories from An Anthology of Short Stories from Five Continents, with particular reference to “The Distant Past” by William Trevor.
In the process of answering the TMA, you should make sure to include the below five sub questions:
1) How is the concept of cultural encounter treated in the short story “The Distant Past”?
2) Is the author, William Trevor, aware of the cultural encounter theme? How does he manifest that awareness?
3) Are the main characters, mainly the Middletons, aware of the cultural encounter theme? What clues do they provide of such awareness?
4) How does the Friday visit to town highlight the theme of cultural encounter in “The Distant Past”?
5) How does the usage of “contrasts” (present versus past, now versus then) throughout the short story help in highlighting the theme of cultural encounter?