Hot Ice by Stuart Dybek, The magic trick: Blending realism with the poetic to create a world of epic beauty “Hot Ice” is the most perfect. A Study Guide for Stuart Dybek’s “Hot Ice,” excerpted from Gale’s acclaimed Short Stories for Students. This concise study guide includes plot summary;. A study guide for Stuart Dybek’s Hot Ice, excerpted from Gale’s acclaimed Short Stories for Students. This concise study guide includes plot summary; character.

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He explains that his hobby ever since he was young has been looking at the decorations in windows, indicating that he is more of an observer in life than a participant. They were rushing through waist-deep weeds, crossing the vast tracts of prairie between the factories, clattering over bridges and viaducts.

Stanley’s girlfriend lives across from the Assumption Church, leading him to call her “the Unadulterated one. His prose leans toward the lyrical, creating a vivid image dyvek flow more often than not. Eddie finally persuades him to flee, and as they stand behind the icehouse across the street Manny talks about his anger toward everyone inside the jail, from the prisoners to the icw to the wall itself.

Particularly after World War II —45which had itself brought an end to the previous decade of economic depression, the industrial cities in the North produced the durable goods that made the United States one of the dybe economic superpowers. In writing about this little ethnic enclave, I am writing about America,” he pronounces, as we sit in the kind of trendy, pseudohippie cafe that one finds only in American college towns like Ann ArborIthaca or Chapel Hill.

While Eddie finds it difficult to keep up, Manny follows the ceremonies with the interest Pancho would have shown.

Dybek does not mean to stop here, however, with romantic and sentimental notions of heritage; he is more interested in cultural fusion, in that uniquely American acculturating process described by Werner Sollors in Beyond Ethnicity as the tension between “our hereditary qualities” and our position as “architects of our fate.

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Comparing Two Linked Short Story Collections: Dybek’s Coast of Chicago and Brown’s Street Games

In jail, Pancho becomes the inspiration for a new urban myth, one that springs from within the neighborhood and stars a local boy: Eddie approaches life as a bystander at the beginning of the story.


While “ethnicity” is ddybek the ive by which his protagonists view the world, Dybek insists that contemporary urban ethnicity must be defined differently from that of preceding time periods.

His dream of escape is mirrored in the end when they leave to release the girl in ice at about the same place in the lake, giving the freedom that Manny once desired.

Read more sybek the Study Guide. Just like the two levels of everyday life—the old, which is a dim and quickly fading memory, and the new, which does not have anything appealing to offer the story’s young men—there are also two levels of myths.

But better to shoot for the poetic moon rather than hide behind a shield of irony, right? Stuart Dybek is a case in point. For a long time during the period covered by the story, he loses contact with Manny because he has to quit high school and work a night job to pay his bills, but then, one spring day months after they have seen each other, he goes to Manny’s apartment, and they resume their friendship just as it had been before.

His characterization of his young heroes and heroines as romantic rebels and urbanized American versions of Keats, Proust, Dostoevsky and others whom they have read, leads him beyond mere ethnicity even though his fiction is rooted in the cultural neighborhoods of southside Chicago.

The most direct connection to this time is Big Antek, with whom they interact regularly, if only to have him buy liquor for them. Dybek obviously feels strongly about honing his writing to perfection as he leans forward, warming to the subject.

‘Hot Ice’ by Stuart Dybek – Short Story Magic Tricks

He swam away from shore, relishing his freedom and the touch of the water, only coming back because he thinks of his uncle on the pier, desperately calling for him. Below, streetlights shimmered watery in the old industrial neighborhoods.

Added to these are America’s general unfamiliarity with Polish culture, originating during the period of great immigration when nativists tended to lump all Slavic peoples together and to promote caricatures and stereotypes of Poles in particular. Nobody knew what happened there either. But the city features that were functioning around the time of the war—icehouses, streetcars, freight trains, and the regular rhythm of a fully functioning economy—haunt the memories of older neighborhood men.


Stuart Dybek’s story “Hot Ice” ends with the memorable scene of two neighborhood friends, who have been estranged, united in a combined effort: In reality, the union of Pole and Chicano represents the changing face of America and of Polish Americanness.

At the same time, they are acutely aware that they ache for something they cannot name “but knew was missing,” as the narrator of ” The River ” phrases it; and that “things are gone they couldn’t remember, but missed; and things were gone they weren’t sure ever were there. I want life on the page. For instance, the opening paragraphs, relating the background information about the girl in ice, contain a broad ife, explaining what a variety of people knew or thought of the story, but this information is then planted into Eddie’s mind, with the narrative mentioning several times that the details being relayed are just hor version that Eddie had heard or had imagined.

A Study Guide for Stuart Dybek’s “Hot Ice”

They both identify with and like “the other. He is a young man of Polish descent in a neighborhood that is increasingly becoming Mexican. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to read shorter stories instead of longer books.

As they move through their days, Dybek renders with precise clarity the details of a city in transition, mixing memories of ice delivery and sharpening carts and streetcars and riding boxcars with the oppressive, looming presence of the county jail and the boarded windows of a neighborhood that is slipping away from memory.

Eddie tells him that the ho where she is supposedly stored is slated for demolition. Each collection is about the desperate, the destitute, the lower hog of the big city.

In numerous poems, The Warsaw Sparksand his lce to be published memoir, SzostakGary Gildner explores both old and new world selves in sensitive ways. When all is said and done, Dybek’s ethnic characters seem to say that “what they are” doesn’t really matter in terms of history, language, geography.