Let's Go to the Videotape

This study guide will help you analyse the short story “Let’s Go to the Videotape” by Fiona Maazel, which has been used for a written exam in English STX A on the 20th of May 2019. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective.

Exam question

Write an analytical essay (900-1200 words) in which you analyse and interpret Fiona Maazel’s short story “Let’s Go to the Videotape”.

Part of your essay must focus on the father-son relationship. In addition, your essay must include an analysis of the style of writing in lines 102-113.

Presentation of the text

Title: “Let’s Go to the Videotape” (2016)
Author: Fiona Maazel
Genre: Short story

Fiona Maazel is an American writer. The short story “Let’s Go to the Videotape” was published in 2016 in Harper’s Magazine and was later included in the anthology Best American Short Stories 2017.

Here you can read an extract from our study guide:

The short story features several rhetorical questions, which reflect Nick’s thoughts and feelings. For instance, in relation to filming his son, he rhetorically asks himself: “Who doesn’t film his kid experiencing a threshold moment?” (l. 7). It is almost like he is trying to justify why he is filming his son instead of helping him immediately when he crashes.

Nick is constantly afraid of not being a good father, and his insecurity makes him ask these questions as if to defend himself against anyone who might criticise him.

Sometimes, the questions also show Nick’s loneliness as a single parent: “But who could he tell besides his wife? Who would care beyond his friends, whose care was dutiful at best?” (ll. 56-57). 

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