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The Short Story "divorced, Beheaded, Survived"

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The short story "Divorced, Beheaded, Survived", written by Robin Black, revolves around such themes as mortality and the transience of life.

The story starts in media res. The reader is thrown directly into the role play that the children are playing in the yard.

The narrator is called Sarah and she had a brother that died very young. Her and her brother, Terry, used to do role playing in their parents' garden with their friends when they were children. They would always do the same play: how King Henry VIII of England executed his wives and everyone wanted to play the role of Anne Boleyn. Thirty years after, the narrator's son's friend dies in an accident, which reminds the narrator about the death of her brother.

The narrator, her family and also most of her friends are from the upper-middleclass. The narrator's father was a professor and so was the father of one of the narrator's friend's. In the narrator's own house there are a lot of classic books: "... all the orange-spined Penguin classics, Shakespeare, Woolf, all that" (Page 5, lines 135-136.). The fact that the narrator has all these classical books makes the reader think that the narrator most likely is very educated and well-read. The narrator's husband also has lots of chemistry books which might mean that he might have studied medicine or has a good education.

The narrator has undergone a development, not just the physical with being the thirty years older, but also a mental development. As the narrator grows older, she becomes better and better at handling the death of her brother. This is clearly emphasized in the text this when it says: "... I made the decision to put away the picture of my brother that I had carried from my parent's home to college..."(Page 5, lines 132-133) and "The truth is that sometimes even more than a day goes by before I remember to think of my brother"(Page 5, lines 153-154)

The narrator does not feel such a strong connection to her brother anymore, as she starts to forget about him and therefore one could say that she has undergone a mental development. The narrator has maybe come to peace with the loss and has accepted it, because as everyone knows it can take a long time to accept the loss of a loved one.

The role play takes place in a small, dusk, untended garden in the time between school and dinner. The garden is the symbol for a small sanctuary for the children, because it is a place where they can play and be themselves without any adults to control them. The garden is also a metaphor for the Fall. The children used to be playing in the garden, which is a symbol for the Garden of Eden, but with the death of the narrator's brother Terry, all of the children realize that they will not be children forever and they at some point have to grow up, and that death can



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