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The Day the World Almost Came to an End

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Story opens with the first-person narrator speaking directly to her audience in an autobiographical frame of mind. Despite following her parent's wishes and attending church, this young girl considered herself a sinner. From her perspective, "getting religion" would force her to make do without all the "many delicious sins around to get into" (325). Her stance on this issue gets a rude awakening one day when her friend, Rena, informs her that the world is coming to an end on Saturday. The calamity that will cause the end, an eclipse. At first the narrator is not bothered by the news since she knows that no one is smart enough to figure out Revelation. But when Rena says that Reverend Davis said that "time is winding up," she begins to see the inevitable truth that perhaps the end is near. Her mind soon becomes loaded down with the "supposing" that the world did come to an end idea. People had already said that she was destined for hell, and so her thoughts turned to hell and its inhabitants who "got burned and burned up and never died, he just kept on burning, burning, burning" (328). When her Daddy comes home, the narrator seeks his counsel and learns that no one but God knows about the end of time, and that it could happen at any time. Any TIME! The narrator stays awake that night waiting. An old airplane with its rumbling, racket-like noise wakes her from her thoughts. Believing that the noise signals the end of the world, she rushes from the bedroom, screaming at the top of her lungs that "The world is ending! The word is ending! Run! Run for your life!" (330) She continues to scream as she heads down the road, screaming for all to hear. At last her Daddy catches his daughter in his arms, helps her to relax, and makes her aware that the noise came from a plane, not the end of the world. Relieved, the young girl became to cry, and as she walks home with her Daddy, she has a revelation: that life--all of it--should be lived, really lived.



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