Lydia Peelle’s story ‘Mule Killers’ is a story about unrequited love and its consequences and the change from child to adult. ‘Mule Killers’ is told by a narrator, who is telling the story of his father meeting his mother. The father of the narrator tells his story about his unhappy youth to his son meantime they are working in a garden. The father’s story takes place when he was about eighteen years old, and the time where tractors replace mules as a agricultural tool. The picture ‘Stone City, Iowa’ painted by Grant Wood gives a perfect picture how I understand the father’s district. It is a village- like society from the former days. It is marked by farming and it is very idyllic and peaceful. It is very remarkable that the father has several losses in his story. To begin with he tells his son about Eula Parker. He was in deep love with Eula, but she did not noticed him at all. There are many examples in the text that shows her carelessness. When he gets out of the store and meets Eula and her friend the pale haired girl, Eula seems not interested in him – ‘When they look up and see that it is him, they both politely say hello. Eula looks up at the store awning behind him … ‘. When the father sees her again in the drugstore, he is convinced that she is jealous, but it is just another example of her carelessness – ‘An enormous, beautiful open- faced smile: a smile with no jealousy hidden behind it at all ‘ . The father ends up with the pair haired girl even he is still in deep love with Eula. The day he loses his beloved mule Orphan, he also gets shocked and very surprised, because the girl tells him about her pregnancy. The night when his father gets home from the hospital he tells the story about the pregnant girl. The narrator’s father didn’t understands the consequences of his actions. He convinces himself that it must be because of the loss of the mule Orphan or the man in the hospital that droves him to tears. He knows that...
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