The Themes Of Death In Going By Amy Hempel

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In the short story Going, the author Amy Hempel writes about a man who was in a car accident that caused him to remember certain smells that linked to specific memories and experiences. All the memories and smells that come back to the character are ones that revolve around death. In the short story the author’s main subject is death and how hard that topic can be. Some individuals tend to be careless and do not see the potential hazards until after they cause damage while other are vigilant. The author utilizes concepts of death, sarcasm, irony, paradoxes, and symbolism throughout the short story to reveal that death may seem far but in reality it’s inevitably close. In the short story Going, the author Amy Hempel applies concepts …show more content…
While describing his vision through the binoculars, the speaker states how "things are far away and close with you still in the same place.” This paradox is specifically applied because it conveys the idea that although death is conventionally portrayed as distant, it can and will happen eventually; however, we live our everyday lives thinking it is far away, putting us into this "same place" that is described within the literary device (Hempel, 53). Moreover, while remembering the accident, the speaker recalls it as “It was fast and it was slow. It was both.” This use of a paradox and how it insinuates that the crash was both fast and slow, although the two words contrast one another, buttresses the overall theme of how death is inevitably close although at times it may seem far because of how it is quickly upcoming yet no one knows when it will arrive causing it to not only be one of the terms but "It is both." (Hempel, 55). The author uses symbolism when the character describes what he experienced at the bar, he stated that, “… he brought out a jar with a scorpion in it. He showed me how a drop of tequila on its tail makes a scorpion sting itself to death.” This use of symbolism can be seen as a lesson that death does not have to be self-inflicted nor does it have to be by natural occurrence, it can be caused by someone else (Hempel, 55). For instance, in the binocular situation if the person would have died then it would have been self-inflicted because of his careless action, while in the case of the scorpion its death was caused by someone else proving that death can be caused by any one or

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