The Grave

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The Grave

In Katherine Ann Porter's “the Grave”, she tells the story of an area of land that was once a family's burial grounds. She tells this story through the eyes of Miranda, exploring deep memories from back to the tender age of nine.

Miranda recalls a time when her grandmother and grandfather's remains had been moved due to selling of the family property. The first detailed memory was the day her and her twelve year old brother, Paul, went back and were exploring the empty burial plots. They jumped into the “graves” and both came across some treasures. One being a gold ring with flowered embedded in it, and the other “a screw-head for a coffin”, as Paul described, in the shape of a silver dove.

Miranda and Paul then continued on their journey in search of prey to hunt. Porter expresses how Paul insists on having the first shot at a rabbit or dove, while Miranda follows behind not completely interested in hunting at all.

Porter sets the year in 1903. She also makes Miranda appear as more of a tomboy, dressed in blue overalls and collared shirt, than a conservative young girl in a dress. Miranda recalls the women in town slanting their eyes and saying things like, “Ain't you ashamed of yoself, missy?” and “What yo Pappy thinkin about?”

Miranda begins to rethink her appearance and considers turning around and leaving for home without telling Paul, but changes her mind when Paul shoots a rabbit. The curious children examine the animal, noticing the shot was directly in the head. Paul begins to skin the rabbit, Miranda watches eagerly. Fascinated at first, Miranda becomes quite upset when Paul flips the rabbit over and discovers a belly full of babies. She insists she does not want the skin, and Paul expresses his concern of disappointment from their father. The two of them decide to keep the kill a secret.

Twenty years after this adventure, Miranda is confronted by an Indian vendor, who is supplying dyed sugar sweets in the shapes of...
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