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Monthly Archive for September, 2016

My dreams at night were like the dreams of other boys—I dreamed of the bodies of girls, dreams that woke me from my sleep, leaving me sweaty, the sheets twisted around me…Those were most of my dreams, but there were others, dreams of water, and sometimes there was a nightmare that came to me…the sea […]

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But it was not her body I felt, though I liked the feel of it, it was not her sex, though I was aware it. Rather, I felt myself longing for something I could never have, and I wanted her to take me back, fold me inside of herself as she’d folded Becky that afternoon. […]

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So I loved to stroll the beach among the girls who wanted to have me, old men who wanted to be me. In Mary Morris’s “The Lifeguard,” the narrator is remembering a time when he was the head lifeguard, the summer before he left for college. The way the main character, Josh Michael, describes his […]

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“I had girls who loved me – the girls of summer, with their bronzed skin and naked unblemished bellies, and it would have been a perfect summer for me, this last summer of my youth, if I had not felt that at each moment my every move was being watched by Mrs. Lovenheim, who never […]

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But it was not her body I felt, though I liked the feel of it, it was not her sex, though I was aware of it. Rather, I felt myself longing for something I could never have, and I wanted her to take me back, fold me inside of herself as she’d folded Becky that […]

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Then Mrs. Lovenheim turned to me where I stood, first-aid kit dangling in my hand like a lunch box. I felt as If she were about to say or do something, but instead, without a word, she moved past me back to her umbrella, collected her things, and left. This story by Mary Morris is […]

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It was then that I saw Mrs. Lovenheim close her book, take off her hat, and rise. I saw the women, left and bereft, who had languished all summer beneath her umbrella, coming towards us, In the short story “The Lifeguard” by Mary Robinson, There is a boy named Josh Michaels who is a lifeguard […]

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“I watched them curiously, these people whose life had been irrevocably altered with the sweep of a wave” This passage in Mary Morris’ short story “The Lifeguard,” is extremely interesting. Throughout this story the main protagonist Josh Michaels is consistently faced with and curious about change. Whether it be something as life-altering as Billy Mandel’s […]

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I saw that woman, left and bereft, who had languished all summer beneath her umbrella, coming towards us, her red hair wild in the breeze, and like Moses she parted the spectators, the advisers, and lookers- on. In “The Lifeguard” by Mary Morris, water is a strong archetype.  The narrator is a lifeguard at a […]

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“…this secret world of women seemed ever closed to me.” Mary Morris’ “The Lifeguard” is a coming-of-age story about 18-year-old Josh Michaels, the head lifeguard of Pirate’s Point. Women play a key role in John’s character development. Throughout the story, he describes the women in his life. Josh describes the women as if they are sex […]

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It was the last time I saw Mrs. Lovenheim that summer, or any other summer, for that matter. Or perhaps I saw her again, but we no longer recognized each other. It was my last summer on the beach, and after that the winds shifted, the weather changed, which would bring my departure for college. […]

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“Wait,” I said, “come back.” I knew I would never want anyone or anything as much as I wanted Mrs. Lovenheim right then, and I found myself slipping into despair as she released me back into the world. As a young man in this story, Josh Michaels has had any girl he could have ever […]

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Mary Morris, “The Lifeguard”

She slowly opened the door, only partially at first. She looked at me oddly, as if trying to remember when she’d seen me before. “I’m the lifeguard,” I said, not knowing what else to say. And it suddenly occurred to me that she had no idea who I was, that she’d never really seen me […]

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In “The Lifeguard” by Mary Morris, the main character, Josh Michaels, reflects on his youth. Specifically, the summer before he left for college. He was the head lifeguard at his local beach, Pirate’s Point, and he loved his job. He believed that the best part was the way he was glorified by the public. Girls would […]

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Throughout Deborah Eisenberg’s short story, “The Girl Who Left Her Sock on the Floor,” the main character, Francie, learns that her mother has passed away. This amplifies Francie’s already existing struggle to understand who she is. Since her family consisted of just her mother and herself, she is now forced to find her own voice. Francie […]

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Throughout Amy Hempel’s “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried,” the narrator visits her friend in the hospital. Although her friend is incredibly ill, she tries to make the best of it. In contrast, the narrator has been avoiding this visit for a very long time, she doesn’t want to face the fact that her best […]

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In Carrie Brown‘s “Miniature Man,” the story follows Gregorio. A man who has spent the last fifteen years creating a miniature replica of his town. After winning the lottery, he decided to buy two houses; one to live in and the other to hold his replica as a museum. Shortly into this story, and weeks […]

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“Yes,” she says, “the smarter anything knows when to disobey. Now, for example.” In Amy Hempel’s story, “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried,” is about a girl who is in a mental hospital because she is ill and dying. The narrator is being interrogated by doctors in a plain room with a camera […]

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In Amy Hempel’s short story “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried,” the narrator visits her best friend at the hospital. Her best friend is sick and asks the narrator to tell her pointless stuff that she won’t mind forgetting. It can be inferred that the narrator is afraid of death — she uses […]

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She Laughs, and I cling to the sound the way someone dangling above a ravine holds fast to the thrown rope. The short story “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried” by Amy Hempel is about a girl who is at a hospital with her best friend who is very sick and dying. When […]

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It seems to me Anger must be next. The Bargaining, Depression, and so on and so forth. This quote in Amy Hempel’s In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried spoke out to me. It shows that the main character knows how her brain works in relation to what she is going through. She knows exactly how […]

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“But the beach is standing still today. Everyone on it is tranquilized, numb, or asleep. Teenaged girls rub coconut oil on each other’s hard-to-reach places. They smell like macaroons. They pry open compacts like clam-shells; mirrors catch the sun and throw a spray of white rays across glazed shoulders. The girls arrange their wet hair […]

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On the morning she was moved to the cemetery, the one where Al Jolson is buried, I enrolled in a ‘Fear of Flying’ class.  ‘What is your worst fear?’ the instructor asked, and I answered, ‘That I will finish this course and still be afraid.’ The narrator has a fear of flying, earthquakes, and death.  […]

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“There was a second bed in the room when I got back to it! For two beats I didn’t get it. Then it hit me like an open coffin. She wants every minute, I thought. She wants my life.” This passage in Amy Hempel’s short story “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried” resonates with […]

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“Tell me things I won’t mind forgetting,” she said. “Make it useless stuff or skip it.” In Amy Hempel’s short story “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried,” the first line seems to be one of longing and sorrow. The protagonist has found herself in the position of being by her dying best friend’s side. […]

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