A Shocking Accident

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Ap. English 3
“A Shocking Accident” Essay

Graham Greene wrote a short story called “A Shocking Accident.” A nine year old boy named Jerome is told that his father has died in an accident and the only thing he could ask was “What happened to the pig?” Greene makes it known in this short story that humans are irrational and meaningless. Selective detail is used to enhance the theme that men are disconnected. Jerome’s father barely cared for his son and Jerome barely cared for his father. Man only care for themselves and Jerome will grow up to be just like his father.

Jerome’s father did not care about his son so he sent him to an expensive private boarding school called Eton. In doing this, he would not have to communicate in any way with Jerome. His father would occasionally send Jerome a picture-postcard but postcards were little notes that said inconsequential things. This showed that his father did not even want to take the time to write a letter to his only son. In return Jerome kept “an album fitted with picture-postcards (the stamps had been soaked off long ago for his other collection)” (1080). Jerome did not care for his father and he only kept the postcards and stamps for his collection. Jerome and his father are both void of meaning.

Mr. Wordsworth summoned Jerome into his office and he told Jerome that his father has died in an accident. Jerome showed no expression of concern and he asked “Did they shoot him through the heart? I beg your pardon. What did you say, Jerome? Did they shoot him through the heart?” (179). Mr. Wordsworth was surprised by Jerome’s response to the news. Mr. Wordsworth than tells Jerome that a pig has fallen on him and “an inexplicable convulsion took place in the nerves of Mr. Wordsworth's face” (179). Death is not a laughing matter, yet the housemaster is trying to hold back his laughter. After this incident occurs, the students at the school begin to call Jerome “Pig.” They...
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