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Theme of Death in "Before the End of Summer"

  • Date Submitted: 08/28/2010 08:50 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 81.2 
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“Before the End of Summer”

Death is defined as the end of life and for Bennie, the main character of the story Before the End of Summer, it scared him. As Bennie learns of his grandmother’s imminent death he does not know how to handle it. At first he tries to run avoid his problem by running away but that does not get him anywhere. As Bennie begins to face his situation head on he starts going through a rite of passage and starts to transform from a little boy to a mature young man. As the story progresses, Bennie slowly starts to understand death and finally accepts the imminent death of his grandmother.
On one summer’s evening, Bennie’s grandmother tells him to go play elsewhere while she meets with her doctor. Halfway down the path Bennie decides to head back for he does not want to play alone. When he returned to the house Bennie knelt by the window of his grandmother’s room and listened. As he listened, he hears of his grandmothers impending death and how she will die before the end of summer. In shock, Bennie did the only thing that he could, he ran. “It came to Bennie that he was alone with her, and she was going to die soon.” Bennie was going through the first phase of his rite of passage, the separation phase. He was trying to get as far away from his grandmother as he possibly could. He knew his grandmother was going to die soon and he was scared. When he got far away Bennie realized that he had to stay with his grandmother until his mother got back so he turns around and heads back. Later, as he realizes his grandmother is preparing to die, he starts to feel more sorry for her then scared of her. Bennie now sees that he needs to be a mature about his situation, for his grandmother’s sake.
By now, Bennie is in his transitional phase. He is starting to do things more without his grandmother for he knows that she will not be around for much longer. Then something happens. Bennie learns of Miss May’s death. At the funeral, Bennie does not understand...


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