Just Breathing

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Just Breathing

Ill-timed encounters with torment and death will always leave one behind as a reflective and thought full individual. “Just Breathing”, which was published in 1997 in the book “Sex,
Drugs, Rock’n’Roll: Stories to end the century“, deals with a woman who feels, that she has changed after a strange meeting with the woman Magde. This essay contains an analysis and an interpretation of Nina and the function Madge has in Nina’s life.

The story begins quite sudden because the reader is practically thrown into the story and the characters aren’t introduced. If you take a look at the verbs in the first three lines you will see that most of them are written in past tense. Therefore you can see that the narrator is looking back on the story of Nina. It’s unclear whether or not the narrator knows Nina, but by examining the text furtherer it becomes more and more obvious that it is a narrator who is present in the short story. From time to time while telling the story the narrator interrupts Nina to comment on the thoughts and actions of her, “Line 6, p 1 [why did illness never strike in term time?]” and “Line 101, p 4[buying twenty Benson & Hedges. (Twenty!)]”.

In this short story Diana Hendry uses interior monologues to show the emotionally affected woman, Nina, and her life after a close encounter with death. Nina is a middle-aged woman who has taught English Literature for 15 years and she is married to Tom. After a serious asthma attack Nina is back at home...

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