When the grandmother relocates her husband’s ashes, The Grave begins. Following her death, her family sells a portion of the property in order to provide enough financial support for the grandmother’s children (Porter 1). Miranda and Paul discover the grave while hunting, and out of curiosity, they plan to investigate the holes, where they discover a gold ring and a silver dove. They trade the treasure and resume their quest. Paul shoots a rabbit with his Winchester rifle. Miranda is frustrated for a few days after She skins and tests the rabbit. The reaction makes Miranda focus on a conservatively feminine world of pregnant rabbit that introduces her to the delivery process. When she sees the unborn rabbits, it is not a new thing; she recognizes the secrets associated with the mind and body that have been developing slowly. These secrets demonstrate the initiation of a young girl into womanhood. On a burning day at the market, she comes across a trader selling animal-shaped candies, which remind Miranda the killing of a pregnant rabbit during her childhood. What is unclear is the association between memory and the current condition of a grown-up Miranda who associates the stench at the market with corruption and sweetness with the grave many years ago (Porter 9). Her image of birth confined by death triggered by the pregnant rabbit changes into a metaphor by the recollection of treasures in the grave; the disturbing reality is replaced by Paul turning the silver dove in his hands. In addition, the shocking aspect of life and death is changed by the creative ability of the memory. This paper sets out to analyze language, the point of view and tone as demonstrated by Katherine Anne Porter in The Grave.
Point of view
In the story, the author uses the third person point of view, in particular, the author uses pronouns like “they/them”, “he/she”. Even though Porter is not part of the story, she is aware of all the characters in the story. Based on the fact that none of the characters is telling the story, is evident enough that it was written from a third person perspective. Nonetheless, the story develops from Miranda_x0092_s childhood memories. It starts with the past introducing Miranda as a 9-year old who accompanies her brother, Paul on hunting adventures. At the end of the story Miranda reflects on her guilt and her relationship with Paul, and insights she captures regarding life as well as death.
The story is fascinating due to its natural tones, which can be attributed to subtle changes in the point of view. The author’s third-person narration presents the story in an objective manner, however as it unfolds, readers are drawn into Miranda’s consciousness, for instance, referring to Paul as the “Brother” during hunting. At the end of the story, readers discover Miranda’s mind the relationship between her past experiences.
While porter uses short words to arouse enormous emotions, her use of minute scenes to depict a complex world demonstrates how prudent she can get. Again, she moves not only plainly but also invisible throughout her world. As a complex personality, she blends the autonomy of a woman that grew up as a tomboy, the nonconformity and moralistic perception of the late-Victorian era in Texas. The author adopts performances of her childhood narratives.
Porter is able to realize objectivity without forfeiting sensitivity. Despite the author_x0092_s visibility, she is able to construct a narrative that is self-motivated. She is not only fruitful in the treatment of peoples that are disadvantaged by the contemporary environment but also how she represents guilty, seclusion and spiritual rejection. Moreover, objectivity is evident in the author_x0092_s conversational write-up, for instance, in the dialogue between Granny and her daughters.
By way of Granny_x0092_s semi-consciousness, the author is able to portray the protagonist as an objective observer and also through the protagonist_x0092_s own judgments and recollections. Nonetheless, from Granny_x0092_s insentient dialogue, it is easy to imagine that she was a busy, diligent and courteous mother and a considerate, kindhearted and patient. At this point, Porter is able to depict Granny with energetic and rich details accurately. Through the protagonist_x0092_s discussion or friendly disagreements of the plot, Porter explored Granny_x0092_s gallant qualities like fortitude, resilience, astuteness, and the ability to work hard as if she were an objective observer without any deliberations or propositions or arguments.
Porter uses clear language to bring into perspective an objective story. Most specifically, the author puts emphasis on the dark part of reality but also uses humor to lighten the story. In the Grave, Porter uses not only small but also personal activities and thoughts of the characters to drive the story. In addition, she has the skills to demonstrate how events could significantly influence an individual. She utilizes sharp and carefully selected words, an important aspect when it comes helping readers identify useful themes within the story. For instance, Porter alleges that _x0093_the grandfather, dead for more than thirty years, had been twice disturbed in his long repose by the constancy and possessiveness of his widow_x0094_ (Porter 1). Short sentences imply the story’s background that occurs to Miranda’s; her grandfather’s grave has been removed twice. For Miranda, when the children find the treasure, they are pleased while Paul turns the silver dove in his hands over and over again with “a pleasured sober smile in his eyes” (Porter 9). From this perspective, the happiness of a child doing a new thing presents happiness of being sober that stimulates discovery and wanting to know. Specifically, the aspect of knowing is the darkness of death, life, and brightness. The purpose of the story is to demonstrate Miranda’s inner being including her invitation to womanhood. The story is perfect in terms of compression as well as implementation. Miranda attempts to discover the reality surrounding life and death. Basically, Porter uses clear language to highlight the twofold effect of tradition and discovering the reality of Miranda’s nonphysical growth.
At the Grave, Porter employs a subtle language technique. Most importantly, in this story, Porter explores characters that seem to be disillusioned by issues beyond their control. Much as Miranda is not interested in traditions, she is influenced by her grandmother, who represents the old southern traditions. At the beginning, the story focuses on the grandmother_x0092_s life and burial, which is totally different from the plot of the Grave. Essentially, the author is exploring the impact of the past and its importance on Miranda. The grave is the main symbol of the story and its background. In the end, it becomes the focus. The repeated appearance of grave shows it_x0092_s the tradition. Grandmother demonstrates her strong recognition of the past since it is something valuable; in this case, Porter uses grandmother_x0092_s life to represent Miranda’s life as well as the nonphysical world. The grandmother is not only persistent but also stubborn. She wants to unite the family including the dead family members. Grandmother is the source of the family and Miranda’s strengths and opinions. As such, Porter uses subtle especially symbols, irony and speech in this story to demonstrate how characters are influenced by past events.
Porter, K.A. The Grave. Accessed Nov 20, 2017 at http://www.vqronline.org/fiction/grave