Analysis: Must I Be Carried To The Sky On Flowered

1370 words - 5 pages

Analyzing a story is a funny thing. A story can mean so many different things, as one can tell during any discussion about it. Ideas flow like water, each one with a different interpretation of what the author was trying to get across. Some are simple, some rather obscure, and down-right off the wall, yet given any good sense of argumentative skills, and anyone can defend their point in a way which can't be proven wrong. In fact, when going on about the "deeper meaning" of a certain piece of literature, the only way you could really have a wrong and right is if the author was sitting right next to you saying flat out, "This is what I mean by this passage, and nothing else." However, this is rarely the case. Such is the dilemma with "Must I Be Carried to the Sky on Flowered Beds of Ease?" As with everything else ever written, from Shakespeare to stereo instructions, it's all subjective to the reader's perception, which in turn is unique as their personality. I believe the entire theme of the story is summed up with one line of the second paragraph, in which Jesse states, "All my life I've had this trouble holding on to what loves me.", which is more than obviously the running theme to this piece of writing. However, I believe that the catch in this work is about how he loses all that loves him. There are distinct correlations between all subjects of loss in this story, being defined as Jesse's father, Jesse's mother, Ezekiel, Jesse's wife, and both his kids, Bobby and Russell. The trick to these in this is the particular order in which they are written. Would it have the same effect if it was told in such a manor that they talked first about Jesse's father and then his wife, then not even introduce the situation with Russell till the end? Of course not, and the author places the said passages in such an order for a reason. The best comparison I see between themes of loss is between Jesse's wife, Hazel, and Russell. Unlike the situation with his father, the passage of Hazel's leaving is very short in comparison. This leaves it open to more interpretation. Hazel's leaving is best summarized in the line, "Being alone is hard, Jesse, but not so hard as being alone with you." This runs in direct contrast with Russell's opinion, that being along is much less desirable than being with his father, hence he eagerness to come home to die. Jesse on the same token is more than willing to take care of Russell during a time of need, despite the warnings from Russell about how hard it will be. I think this goes to show that despite what Hazel had said, Jesse hadn't really pushed her away as much as she had left from her own unhappiness with her life. The picture painted by her speech about how much he loves her, and that "enough" isn't really enough., tries to give an image of Jesse, an unloving husband who doesn't seem affected by his wife leaving him for said reason. However, if you look at the order in which the passages are told, his wife's...

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