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In life, there is always the pairing of positive and negative factors or attributes. Such attributes as "beauty and the beast," "black and white," "up and down," and so on are always present and a normal part of life. The list can become endless but it all boils down to superiority versus inferiority…
Both short stories depict this power play.
Power can come in different and ordinary ways. In "Open Secrets," although the story may be a little confusing because of the seemingly double or parallel plots which are the life of Maureen and the loss of Heather, power is shown to be possessed of her husband, Atty. Stephens. In this way, it is presented in the ordinary domestic cum professional relationship. In "Death by Landscape," power is owned by Lucy and later by Cappie, which eventually evolved into the effect of the sad memory and the landscape that Lois experiences for the rest of her life. Lois is related to Lucy as a peer or even as a close friend, while Cappie gains her power as the superior cum manager of the camps.
The loss of Heather and the possible suspect for her disappearance or death has become the leading factor that prove Atty. Stephens authority. He is not only superior because of his profession as a refuted attorney whose ideas and advice almost often become the final word for the townsfolk. He is a man, a husband, and the boss of Maureen. ...
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