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“In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried” by Amy Hampel, has many Allusions, but one stands out the most and that is the sign language chimp. It stands out not because its mentioned multiple time, but because it has a deeper connection with what is going on. It becomes a symbol within the story, as it reflects the reactions of the narrators sick friend. This can be shown through the following quote.

“Did you know that when they taught the first chimp to talk it lied? That when they asked her who did it on the desk, she signed back the name of the janitor. And that when they pressed her, she said she was sorry, that it was really the project director. But she was a mother, so I guess she had reasons.” Pg. 40

This quote mimics the reaction that sick friend has. As both the sick friend and the chimp want to shift the reality of what is happening in order to preserve the time they have with those they love. For the chimp, its lying to its retainers, for the sick friend it’s distractions to keep her illness off the narrators’ mind.

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