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Elizabeth McCracken’s It’s Bad Luck to Die is written from first person point of view. The narrator, Lois, is a Jewish girl from a conservative family. One day, just after Lois had graduated from high school, her cousin decides to get a tattoo and makes the narrator come with. This is when Lois meets Tiny, her future husband, for the first time. At first, Lois does not believe Tiny will have significant part in her life, but soon they become inseparable. Despite their 21-year age gap, Lois falls in love with Tiny and Tiny falls in love Lois.

Throughout the story, Tiny gives Lois tattoos. These tattoos represent how a person can impact another person. While Tiny started by giving Lois small tattoos, she soon became his canvas, the person he would try new designs on. Lois’s mother found Lois’s body, covered in tattoos, to be extraordinarily inappropriate. This caused some issues in the mother’s relationship with her daughter.

At the end of the story, when Tiny is in the hospital, he asks Lois to tattoo her initials on him. At first, Lois refuses, but soon gives in. Rather than imprinting her initials onto Tiny’s skin, she writes “Get Well” instead. That night, Tiny passed away and Lois was left feeling as if she was finished. Months after Tiny’s death, Lois was called a “museum,” but she corrected the man and called herself a “love letter.”

This story uses symbols to represent the impact people can make on others. Tiny’s impact on Lois was both physical and emotional. The tattoos represented the love they had for each other and how they would always feel that way about each other,  no matter what.

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