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In the Grasp of Sorrow
“I need not describe the feelings of those whose dearest ties are rent by that most irreparable evil, the void that presents itself to the soul, and the despair that is exhibited on the countenance…These are the reflections of the first days; but when the lapse of time proves the reality of the evil, then the actual bitterness of grief commences. (Mary Shelley, Chapter 3, page number unknown)
Mary Shelley draws the reader into a world of pain and tragedy, with eloquence and dignity, while skillfully articulating the thoughts and feelings experienced when a loved one is lost to death. Shelley is obviously no stranger to heartache, as is aptly displayed through these passages. The sheer transparency with which she writes draws the reader deeper into a place of anguish. Many authors have endeavored to write about deep heartache and pain, yet have fallen miserably short of expressing the truest emotions felt during tragedy. Shelley captures the pain and despondency felt, when someone you love is torn away from life too early, with a painful brilliance. “I need not describe the feelings of those whose dearest ties are rent by that most irreparable evil.” Shelley speaks from the depth of personal experience and that fact is very evident. Throughout the entire passage, she writes as one who understands the intricacies involved with grief. “Rent by the most irreparable evil”, describes the way it feels to lose someone before you were either prepared or ready. “Rent”, is a perfect word to describe that feeling. A hole is ripped open in life as the spot a loved one once filled is left vacant. I was especially touched when she said, “when the lapse of time proves the reality of the evil, then the actual bitterness of grief commences” She aptly displayed a real truth in that statement. In the initial stages after losing a loved one to death, the grief feels as though it is part of a nightmare. “Bitterness”, is a very...
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