Garage Sale by Janet Fox

Critical Review of "Garage Sale" There are different modes that are utilized by people for shopping. It all depends upon the preferences of specific people. Means of shopping include malls, markets and different commercial centers. A different and interesting form of shopping includes garage sales. This sale is unique and as the name indicates it is that sale which is installed in a person’s garage for the purpose of auctioning household products. An interesting short story “Garage Sale” written by Janet Fox presents a scenario of one such garage sale. The story depicts a perfect image of the setting according to the time and place. It shows a flawless chemistry between the characters of the story interweaving the different aspects of the novel in an intriguing manner.
The “Garage Sale”, by Janet Fox (100 Great Fantasy Short Stories, 1984) begins with the introduction of two friends, Stella and Jen who are out on a drive. They are both explained as different characters with Jen being presented as more sober and Stella as a fun loving girl. Stella drives to the wrong road and they end up locating a garage sale in a suburban locality. Both the friends enter the garage sale. They see a lady sitting over there and both of them start looking at different things. It is here that Jen comes across a man who appears to be dead to her. She tries to grab the attention of her friend Stella but before that the lady of the sale intervenes and makes the attempt of Jen unsuccessful. It is then known that the lady is actually a witch. She presents an offer to Jen that she can purchase the man as her husband in ten dollars. Though this appears to be a strange offer but Jen gets convinced and pays the bill and purchases Ben. The witch infuses life into the still man who is Ben. Jen and Ben enter a different era immediately where they are together in a house. Towards the end it can be understood that there is a loss of coordination between the husband and wife and they present with a complex relationship.
Janet Fox gives a perfect presentation of the story and the characters are designed in a manner to completely fit their picture in the story. From the beginning of the plot till the end she explains the characters with reference to their roles and their dialogues are designed in a way to provide an in depth explanation of their nature. She begins with the description of the characters of Jen and Stella presenting their physical appearances. Stella is explained as a girl who changes her style every now and then whereas comparatively Jen is simpler. This can be seen when Fox says “Jen was to Stella as the wren is to the cardinal, not noticeable beside the more flamboyant display, yet having a quiet style of her own.” (Fox, 100).
Stella seems to be very engaged in her own life and enjoying her life in a different manner. She is not worried when they turn the wrong way and then they reach the garage sale. Her attitude can also be seen in the garage when she goes around looking at things and not caring about her surroundings. On the other hand, Jen appears to be a very observant girl who notices the fact when Stella goes wrong on the roads. She also appears to be quiet comparatively and looks at things around attentively. This is seen when she figures the man who seems to be dead in the garage. The character of Jen can also be considered to be lonely as well as sympathetic. This judgment can be reached when she thinks that she could not leave Ben lying there and she also accepts him as her husband. This part of Jen’s character is explained by Fox in this way”She didn’t think she could just leave him there like that, staring into space and sitting in that ratty recliner for all eternity. And then, she hadn’t had much luck getting a husband the usual way, so….” (Fox 103).
The “Garage Sale” is presented by Janet Fox with a plot that closely relates to the characters and explains their relation with respect to the story. This story is set in a fascinating manner which captures the reader and keeps him engaged in the plot till the end. The story runs in a smooth manner with the display of the characters of Stella and Jen. It then moves to the garage sale and the character of Jen is further explained and there is introduction of Ben and the witch as well. Thus the story interweaves the flow of the story with the characters.