“Fluent Now In The Language Of Grief”: The Role Of Tragedy In Short Danger Fiction

2089 words - 8 pages ✓ Expert Reviewed

Tragedy plays an important role in narratives. This role is especially apparent in many short danger narratives. “The Boogeyman” by Stephen King, follows a man as he tries to deal with the tragic and mysterious deaths of his children. “Management of Grief” by Bharati Mukherjee follows a woman as she tries to manage the loss of her sons and tries to help others do the same. “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried” by Amy Hempel, follows a woman spending time with her dying friend and attempting to deal with the situation. In these stories, among many others of this genre, tragedy plays a critical role in defining the story. Tragedy has become a popular device in short stories and thus must be an advantageous tool for authors. In his essay, “Interest and Truth” Gardner argues that for a narrative to work it cannot simply have meaning; it has to convey it in an interesting manner. Tragedy is an effective means of meeting both of these requirements. Tragedy satisfies the reader immediate interest by drawing him or her into the narrative while also demonstrating the importance of the author’s argument to the reader.
In these works, tragedy acts as a foundation of the story. Without tragedy these stories would not exist. “Management of Grief” focuses on Shaila’s attempts to deal with the tragic loss of her loved ones. The reader experiences how she and many others cope with the grief they feel after the tragic death of their loved ones. Some deny it, like Dr. Ranganathan who suggests that her son “could make it safely to some island. It is quite possible that there may be many, many microscopic islets scattered around,” while in reality this is an improbable possibility (Mukherjee 939). Some try to ignore it while others move on, but this tragedy is what defines the story. While the foundational tragedy in “Management of Grief” is before the action, it still has a huge impact on the story and likewise on the reader. The entire story focuses on the means of dealing with such a huge tragic event and how this tragedy affects people differently, especially across cultures. Meanwhile, “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried” consists of the events leading up to an inevitable tragedy. However, the impact on the narrative is just as strong. Here, too, there are different reactions to tragedy, such as the denial of the narrator and her terminal friend’s acceptance. The story consists of the scattered thoughts of the narrator as she deals with this tragedy and what she did at the moment. Tragedy is located throughout “The Boogeyman” as Billing’s life has been riddled with the tragic death of all of his children. Here it provides the foundation of the story since it consists of the horrors Billings lived through seeing his children repeatedly succumb to the boogeyman. Tragedy plays a huge role in these narratives, and many other short stories, as it provides a solid basis for an impactful story.
Tragedy in these works strengthens the reader’s...

Find Another Essay On “Fluent Now in the Language of Grief”: The Role of Tragedy in Short Danger Fiction

Language and Imagery in The Tragedy of Hamlet

1379 words - 6 pages short, simple phrases of the soldiers on the battlements (‘Have you had quiet guard?/Not a mouse stirring./Well, good night.’)demonstrate both their fear in the face of the ghost and lower status in comparison to the pomp and splendour of the court as shown in the subsequent scene. Claudius uses the flourishing language of 1:2 to secure his position in the court and to guarantee allies. His discussion with Hamlet in front of the whole court...

Gender, Language and Silence in "The Tragedy of Mariam"

2962 words - 12 pages boundaries placed upon both men and women. The connection that he makes between Cary and masculinity reinforces the stereotype of male authority. This essay will examine Cary's exploration of gender, language and silence in The Tragedy of Mariam. The play's expression of these themes is sometimes open, and at other times covert. By concentrating on the issues of public and private speech, this essay will determine the effects that crossing...

Friar Laurence’s Role in The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

769 words - 3 pages William Shakespeare’s play, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, tells of two lovers who sacrifice their life for each other throughout their family’s feud. Throughout the play, Shakespeare utilizes the Nurse and Friar Laurence to offer guidance to Romeo and Juliet. The Friar, in particular, is considered “a holy man” because he is a monk and is particularly thought of for his noble counsel (5.3.269). In The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Friar...

The Health Of Children Is In Danger

980 words - 4 pages Typically when kids open the fridge for something to snack on they have many different types of foods to choose from. But what if a child had a choice between a piece of fruit or a piece of chocolate cake. Most would want the piece of cake over the healthier option of fruit. Who wouldn’t right? Although child obesity is becoming a serious concern, there are solutions that can prevent it. Childhood obesity in the United States has grown...

The Danger of Homophobia in American Culture

857 words - 3 pages community who had been beaten to death because of his sexuality. Since then, the cruelty of WBC hasn’t ceased to leave many in sickening shock. Bullying, throughout time, has evolved. It’s not just Little Timmy being beaten up for his lunch money anymore. Now, parents are involved. Many religious households raise their children on the beliefs that bullying is A-OK if Little Timmy is a homosexual. Parents are able to recognize that they love...

Shattered Superiority in the Face of Danger

1791 words - 7 pages the flaws of others, and, comparable to Grandmother, is readily willing to exploit them. In general, people with superiority complexes do not go out of their way to treat other people kindly, or may even appear to be spiteful, because the majority of the time they are utterly absorbed with themselves. As a result, they will ultimately suffer the consequences, either on a large scale like Connie and Grandmother, or on a smaller scale, like loss of friends or the eventual realization of the flaws that they had previously deemed inexistent. Works Cited Short Stories book ...

The Role of Language in Shakespeare's Play The Tempest

1191 words - 5 pages The Role of Language in Shakespeare's Play The Tempest 1 The role of language in Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” is quite significant. To Miranda and Prospero the use of language is a means to knowing oneself. Caliban does not view language in the same light. Prospero taught Caliban to speak, but instead of creating the feeling of empowerment from language, Caliban reacts in insurrectionary manner. Language reminds him how different he is...

The Role of Language

792 words - 3 pages language">non-English speaking countries such as Mexico, China, Russia, Japan, Puerto Rico and many other countries. It is understandable why these immigrants in the beginning choose their place of residence in the U.S.A in the communities that speak their own language. Since the majority of newcomers cannot speak English, they are forced to live in the areas where they will be able to communicate with people in their native language and...

The Role of a Lost Language in Beowulf

860 words - 3 pages Danes and comes before Beowulf is introduced. There are some problems in studying a text such as Beowulf. It must be read in translation to be easily accessible for the reader. This means the subtle nuances of the original language will be lost. The other major problem is that Beowulf had a long oral tradition before being written down by monks or clerics after the Norman conquest of England, resulting in an added layer of Christian thought...

The Role of Broca’s Area in Language Processing

1100 words - 4 pages it’s function does not exclusively relate to either articulation or comprehension of speech and language. The view maintaining the syntactic processing function of Broca’s area has been based on evidence from deficit lesion studies, electrophysiological studies but not brain imaging studies. To re-examine the role of Broca’s area in language processing it is necessary to turn to the neuroimaging studies which have rendered some long-held...

The Role of English Language Education in Developmental Contexts

2464 words - 10 pages The Role of English Language Education in Developmental Contexts The teaching of English in postcolonial, Third World countries is an issue that has received much debate in the TESOL profession. Opponents of the current global spread of English argue that this language dominance is a form of neo-colonialism and that its expansion should be halted, especially in postcolonial countries where English was previously a language of oppression...

Similar Essays

Fluent Now in the Language of Grief”: The Role of Tragedy in Short Danger Fiction

2136 words - 9 pages Tragedy plays an important role in narratives. This is especially apparent in many short danger narratives. “The Boogeyman” by Stephen King, follows a man as he tries to deal with the tragic and mysterious deaths of his children. “Management of Grief” by Bharati Mukherjee follows a woman as she tries to manage the loss of her sons and tries to help others do the same. “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried” by Amy Hempel, follows a woman...

Fluent in the Language of Food

1706 words - 7 pages every prayer and singing of hymns, Babette immediately serves tea for the guests while they discuss the Lord. The serving and receiving of food fosters a sense of unity not only in family, but also in the wider community; Martina and Philippa always take food to the elderly. Puritans believe that food’s only role is to nourish the human body so that it can better serve the Lord. No one ever eats food for pure enjoyment. This experience associated...

The Role of Language in Communication

1243 words - 5 pages The Role of Language in Communication The role of language is crucial in this process of relationships. Language shapes reality, and it limits what ideas and concepts are available in a particular situation. In all aspects of our lives we engage with, resist, reframe with, the meanings available through language, to give meaning...

The Role of Body Language in Communication

2012 words - 8 pages Introduction Non-verbal communication refers to “all external stimuli other than spoken or written words and including body motion, characteristics of appearance, characteristics of voice and use of space and distancing. All these non-verbal clues taken together are also known as body language. Body language plays significant role in oral communication. Sigmund Freud’s observation may appear to be an exaggeration but it is the exaggeration of a...