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On the cot I tried, as a sleep trick, to remember my answer to Essay Question I– word for fucking word. (158)

This sentence expresses how the narrator, a twenty-one-year-old woman, keeps her time occupied with mind-engaging activities in order to advert from thinking about her parents’ death. As the girl tries to fall asleep, she is afraid of letting her mind wander freely into any thoughts about the loss of her parents. She keeps her mind busy and memorizes her answer to the essay question so that she can avoid thoughts that are outside of her control. The girl writes a “P” on her hand as a way to feel in control of her actions. The narrator shows the reader how she tries to control every aspect of her life, like eating. The reader can see how the narrator feels unsafe and nervous when she is out of control. It seems as though one diversion from her regime will cause her world to crumble. One is able to conclude that the narrator has unresolved sorrows that she continues to suppress, and is unable to find a healthy coping mechanism. The phrase, “word for fucking word” (158) reveals to the reader that the girl is doing everything she can to try and control her emotions and actions, because if she doesn’t, she may feel as though she is falling apart. It seems like the narrator is extremely depressed by the way her life has turned out. The language that the author uses in the last sentence stands out to the reader, catches him/her off guard, and makes them see the anguish that the girl has to live with every day.


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