The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

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A happy farm life, tragic heart break, traitorous family, and of course dogs: the marvelous components that make The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski a true classic. Within this brilliant novel there are of course many memorable moments that leave the reader filled with shock, sympathy and deep sadness. The most intense moment in the novel to me, though, was the death of Edgar’s father, Gar. The strong relationship between father and son as well as Edgar’s muteness makes this moment a pivotal point in the novel, and the sympathy felt by the reader brands this part of the novel as the most memorable and influential moment in the book.

First, Gar’s death is by far the most memorable moment in the novel because of how it affects Edgar. In the moment, Edgar is alone and finds his father lying motionless on the ground. He frantically tries to sign to him but there is no reply so he quickly runs into the house. There, he makes a very unsuccessful phone call to try and save his father, and while on the phone he tries to “force the sound from his mouth” (Wroblewski 123) by hitting himself repeatedly in the stomach. He finds there is nothing he can do and frustratingly smashes the phone to pieces and pounds furiously with his fists on the barn walls to get someone’s attention. During this part of the novel the initial reaction of the reader is pure shock and sympathy, the audience knows that his efforts are useless. It is by far the most important and memorable section of the book because Edgar now has to deal with life feeling that his flaw of being mute is the only reason his father died, and he is constantly feeling guilty and responsible for Gar’s death for the rest of the book. The scene is also very well written by the author, Wroblewski, and the descriptions of Edgar’s attempts at talking are completely impossible to read without feeling empathetic towards Edgar’s situation and wanting to help.

Second, the scene of Gar’s death is a pivotal moment in...
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