"Maybe" by Lillian Hellman.

Essay by monkusmausHigh School, 11th gradeA, April 2003

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Lillian Hellman

Maybe written by Lillian Hellman in the 1980's, is a short story in which the author describes a portion of her life during which reality and fantasy were put side by side. Though Maybe seems more of an autobiography and does not follow the traditional plot system; there is a subtle mixture of reality and fantasy, which makes the story seem like a fiction story. The story, for the most part describes the effects of a certain Sarah Cameron on Hellman's personal life. Due to this fact, Sarah Cameron is the main character, around whom the whole story seems to revolve. Lillian, throughout the story, is trying to figure out the origin of all the care that she, all of a sudden, felt towards Sarah despite all the deceptions and misunderstandings caused by her. There is no stable setting since the story takes place between New York, Louisiana, and Paris; and it is hard for the reader to determine where any incident happens unless Lillian makes it clear where she was.

Every now and then she was going back and froth between those three settings, and between times.

Due to the fact that Maybe is an autobiography, that whole story is told in first person. Lillian is constantly searching for information about each and everything that Sarah had done and said. This causes the reader to suspect whether Lillian knows what she is saying or not ; since most of the time she ends up finding out that what she had once believed to be true was mere inventions of Sarah. One of the characters, Ferry, had tried to make it clear to Lillian that Sarah always had 'her usual plots and schemes to fool other people'. This clearly shows that a certain part of what...