Analysis Of Katherine Anne Porter 's ' The Grave ' Essay

Analysis Of Katherine Anne Porter 's ' The Grave ' Essay

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Although “The Grave” seems to be about two children playing in their grandfather’s grave, it is actually about the realization of gender roles, coming of age, and mortality. Katherine Anne Porter wanted the reader to look beneath the surface of the story to find the many different underlying meanings. The main character Miranda is faced with the cold hard truth that life isn’t always sweet and pleasant as she watches her brother kill and skin a pregnant rabbit.
Being a nine-year-old tomboy Miranda doesn’t think twice about going off hunting with her brother, Paul. As well as never putting a second thought into wearing her overalls, even though in the year 1903 young ladies were supposed to be wearing dresses. At least until the day she and Paul went playing in an old grave that used to hold their grandfather’s remains. She found a silver dove and Paul found a gold ring with an intricate carving. A dove can symbolize many different things like the Holy Spirit, peace, and motherhood. Doves can produce milk and will actually go into a temporary starvation mode to ensure they have pure milk for their young. One iconic symbol for marriage is of white doves holding two gold rings. This is because doves mate for life and that’s what is expected when two people get married as well. As for the gold ring this is usually what is exchanged during a wedding ceremony. After Miranda trades the dove for the ring, she puts the ring on her thumb because she isn’t old enough to wear it on the correct finger. She looks at the ring “shining with serene purity of fine gold” and feels like her old overalls weren’t good enough. The tomboy wanted to go home and get all dressed up like a little lady. “She wanted to go back to the farmhouse, take a good col...


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...eriod it was important for a young girl to be married off and to have children, it was part of their womanly duties. For a woman to not carry out these duties she was considered an old maid and possibly a failure as a woman. The very end of her memory she sees her brother being twelve years old again turning the silver dove in his hand over and over again with a “pleased, sober smile in his eyes”. Since the dove always symbolizes peace, this is implied that she can finally be at peace with the memory of the day that her childhood innocence was torn from her.
When reading this story one can easily miss much of the hidden meaning of the life impact the rabbit incident had on Miranda. How she went out hunting with her brother as a little girl, a tomboy, and came back a young woman. This one experience had taught her so much about tragic death and the gift of life is.

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Analysis Of Katherine Anne Porter 's ' The Grave ' Essay

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