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Response to “A Summer Tragedy”

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Hopeless Solution “A Summer Tragedy” is a short story written by Arnaud Bontemps. “A Summer Tragedy” starts with Jeff Patton, an elderly African-American man, putting on his finest fancy dress clothes that he has worn barely than a handful of times. Having difficulty tying his bowtie, Jeff calls for his wife, with his thick southern accent, to assist him. Despite her being blind and even feebler than Jeff, she succeeds in tying his bowtie and returns to her bedroom to finish dressing in her little black silk dress.

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Jeff heads down to the patio of their little log home and looks out with affection upon the land where he and Jennie have lived for the last 45 years. Jennie tells Jeff that he can go get the care ready to go, so Jeff then limped over to the shed to start the car. Initially, he has difficulty cranking the engine of the Model T Ford that is parked in the shed. He sees that his hands are shaking and realizes that he is, in fact, afraid.

Jeff is feeling dazed, weak, and confused at this time.

Moments later, Jennie appears by the window of the Model T and chides him for being so slow in starting the car. Jeff asks her if they should lock up the house, but Jennie responds that there is no need. Soon, Jeff opens the car door for his wife and they begin their journey, passing through the beautiful countryside. As they drive, Jeff look’s backs upon his life and feels some excitement and thrill as they pass though the country and see things he has accomplished.

His thought then went to a halt when he then started remembering the death of his children. Jennie became very silent and sat up straight as they passed Delia Moore’s house, she was their old enemy. Jennie asked Jeff if she had seen then in passing and Jeff say yes, Jennie was confident with the fact that she saw them in their best dress clothes. Moments later, she breaks down in tears, though, and Jeff consoles her, asking her if she wants to continue on this journey. She asks him how he feels about it, and he responds that they have no other choice.

Jeff soon has his own moment of doubt, as he starts thinking of things that could possibly happen to them if they don’t go though with their plans. Jeff then says to Jennie, “Jennie, I can’t do it. I can’t”, but she doesn’t seem to hear him or acknowledge what he just said. Jeff’s mind is now just racing of memories, and after he has a sense of feeling brave now and he continues on. With no excitement or emotion Jeff accelerated the car into the river. Jeff plunges the car into the river, and he and Jennie complete their suicide pact together side-by-side.

Cite this Response to “A Summer Tragedy”

Response to “A Summer Tragedy”. (2016, Nov 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/response-to-a-summer-tragedy/

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