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SOCY 1097 (17)

Interpretive Paragraph Ironweed

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Boston College
SOCY 1097
Elaine Tarutis

Interpretive Paragraph- Ironweed Chapters 1-2 Throughout chapters one and two there is many different descriptions of death, humorous and serious alike, as well as, two major types of death discussed; physical deaths and psychological deaths. I felt it interesting that Kennedy included so many different emotions whilst talking about death in the first chapter alone. Although the tone of the entire novel so far is morbid and foreboding, he switches emotions quickly when going from death to death. For example, Kennedy uses a mocking and condescending tone when explaining how a man named Louis Duncan died by “inhaling his own vomit”(4) but then quickly changes his tone to serious and solemn when revealing how Francis killed Gerald when he “let the child slip out of his diaper”(2). Both are very interesting ways to die, however; one death Kennedy seems to mock while the other he sees as a tragedy. While Kennedy does seem to mention a lot of physical deaths in the first two chapters for this novel (more specifically, about ten different people are mentioned), the audience does also slowly discover that Francis might have suffered a psychological death from all the trauma he has encountered in his life. Because he killed his own son Gerald, and had to wat
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