I will focus on the structure and the use of symbols in the story. The short story Divorced, Beheaded, Survived starts in media rest, which is shown on page 1 line 1: “Without question, Anne Bobble was the plum role. ” The narrator uses this concept to make the reader dump in to the middle of the story without any introduction. And because of the fact that it begins this way, it may take some time before you realism that the beginning also is a flashback. This is generally for the whole story, which is built up on three flashbacks.
This is, for example, shown on page 2 lines 34-35: “l don’t know exactly what satisfaction Johnny got from having us act the hint out in my backyard time and time again. ” Flashbacks are often used to recount events that happened before the story’s primary sequence of happenings to fill in essential backstops. In this case, the flashbacks are used to tell us about our main character’s childhood, and the things she connects with her brother’s death. It gives us two parallel stories, because the past constant is compared to the present: “l sat next to my son where he lay stretched on the couch (.. “Something bad happened, sweetheart. Something bad. ” (… ) My son’s face changed as he took in the news. “He’s dead¦ (Pages 3-4, lines 108-119) This shows that she is confronted with the death, which she has tried to escape from in the past. She needs to take a stand on her childhood (which included her brother’s dead), before she can help her son in the present. Sarah was aware of the death early in her childhood: *dye anyone want to act out the thing again? ” (… ) “Off with her head! ” Jeff Medulla would shout at the afternoon’s Jane Seymour. … ) Nothing pleased me more those afternoons than when, as Molly’s axe head hit my neck, Johnny Sanderson would burst into spontaneous applause or even sometimes say, “Great, Sarah. Really, really great” (Page 2, lines 38-47) This shows us how death is a part of a silly play in their childhood, and how relaxed relationship Sarah has to it. She might even connect it with something good, because of the praise she gets every time they run over the beheaded scene. They cannot really relate to the death, because it is such a distant thing for them.
But the gathering place, the play has been for them, changes significantly when death becomes a reality for them. This is shown on page 3, lines 102-105: “As soon as we learned Terry was sick, my house stopped being the daily gathering place. Everyone but me seemed to know what was coming (… ) And one by one the other children began avoiding us. ” The death can be hard to handle, especially as a kid, and in this case the other children react by avoiding the play, Sarah and Terry, because it reminds them of the death, which they cannot or will not relate to.
The play is also a symbol of Terry’s death to Sarah: “(… ) but then he Divorced Beheaded Survived essay By Camilla-Jacobsen to have been as inevitable a conclusion as the strike of Molly’s axe. ” (page 2, lines 49-51) Sarah’s way of explaining the death is by the fact that they have underestimated it in the past. In the present she has still not accepted the loss of her brother, and because of that, it affects her way to live and make decisions: “But I put our second child off, and so my boy and girl were always Just a little different from the pair we used to be.
Vive been thinking a lot lately about all the ways we try to protect our children. And ourselves. ” (page 2, lines 63-66) She tries to convince herself about the fact that she does it for the children’s sake, and to protect them. But actually it is the constant sense of gild she feels about the loss of her brother, that she tries to make up for. This is also shown on page 4, lines 139-141: “I was afraid my brother’s face would become a fearful thing for them. And maybe for me as well, with kids of my own.
So I put him in the dresser drawer (… )” The picture of her brother symbolize the death and the gild that it entails for her. So by putting it away, she hopes to move on and not be forced to accept it. She has somehow always known that she will move on, but never really known how or when: “There are things that go on, I believe (… ) “Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived” (page 5, lines 172-174) this line of listing, ends whit ‘survived’, which homelike that even though you go through a hard time, you will survive.
And in the middle of all her excuses about protecting her children, she needs to face her fear to help them the most: “What was it like when Uncle Terry died? ” I took my son by the hand, into my room. I opened the dresser drawer and there he was (… )” (page 5, lines 157-160) This shows us, that her fears not necessarily is the children’s fears. So her belief about the fact that it was best for the children to hide the picture of her brother, cannot be an excuse anymore. And because of that she deals with the death, when she finds the picture again.
Now it should be clear, that the short story divorced, beheaded, survived is composed in flashbacks to tell the reader more about Sarah’s background, so we can compare the past to the present. It gives us an understanding of her view on the death, and her experiences thereof. She has a hard time accepting the loss of her brother, and convinces herself that it is best to forget about it, to protect her children. The picture becomes a symbol of the death, because she keeps it away when she cannot handle it, and takes it forwards when she is ready to deal with it.