Among The Living By Dana Levin Essay

1128 Words Nov 19th, 2015 null Page
When we feel that we--or our world--is falling apart, we sometimes fail to comply with social norms. When under stress or in anguished circumstances, we are often unable to uphold societally conditioned and accepted practices. “Among the Living” by Dana Levin presents a scene and brief exchange in which a bystander comes forth and offers validation and recognition to a woman so deep within her own human experience that she fails to follow learned protocols--something that incites judgment and discomfort from those around her, as witnessing such a scene disturbs those existing on a subdued emotional plane. In a cafe, or perhaps a diner, the speaker witnesses the strange curiosity of a young woman failing to follow the protocols of ordering pie. Upon being told that there is no pecan pie, but pecan-cheese pie--something so close, but still not quite what she wanted--the young woman begins to cry and the speaker echoes what the reader may be assuming: that one may assume that the young woman is “crazy”. She proceeds to build the case for her mental instability by digging through the trash and calling out, “I 'm just looking for a piece of pie!” while those observing her think, “Yes, she is crazy”. The speaker is so affected by her presence and actions that they are unable to finish their pie. With everyone watching them, they rise to leave, put on their coat, and offer the young woman their unfinished piece of blueberry pie. She accepts, and “nods her head shyly, looks up,…

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