- The beginning of the story starts off with a short piece of poetry by Almeda Joynt Roth -The narrator is introduced as wanting to reconstruct Almeda's life, he/she introduces Almeda and her book of poetry "Offerings" to the reader - The narrator provides a description of Almeda's appearance , and talks about the death of Almeda's family and her love of poetry - The narrator describes how life was in the 19th century in Canada West (Ontario) - The narrator then gives a list of some of Almeda's poem and speaks of what they may mean - The narrator reveals he/she lives in the same area as Almeda - The Vidette is introduced, which is the town newspaper, the narrator uses this to learn more about Almeda - Pearl Street (poor community) is introduced, along with Queen Aggie a drunken women who is harassed by boys from Pearl St, much of the same way Almeda is later on
2. Rising Action:
- At this point the narrator has faded into the background and we feel as if Almeda is speaking to us - Jarvis Poulter is introduced, the widower and a wealthy business man who lives two lots down from Almeda, he is the initial love interest of Almeda - Jarvis and Almeda are seen talking, in the Vidette, this is mentioned in The Vidette, and rumors spread that they may be a couple - The narrator talks about how Almeda would like to marry Jarvis, but because of the time she must wait for him to indicate his interest - The narrator introduces the doctor, who prescribes sedatives and nerve medicine to Almeda for her sleeplessness ( Almeda avoids the nerve medicine as it gives her vivid dreams) - The doctor believes that if Almeda were to get married her problems would be over, despite the fact that nerve medicine is commonly given to married women
- Almeda decides to make grape jelly one day, but falls asleep.. she wakes up when she hears a women being beaten and chased from Pearl Street, but soon renders back into unconscious - In her half-awake state she hears an imaginary bird tell her to go "move that wheelbarrow", and when Almeda looks outside she discovers a women against her fence ( perhaps Queen Aggie) - Thinking the women is dead, she runs to Jarvis Poulter's house to help her with the women, he discovers the women is simply drunk and behaves callously towards her. Almeda is sickened by his behavior and the women's - Jarvis who thought of Almeda as independent and confident lady, sees the desperation and vulnerability in her and finally shows his interest and asks her to accompany him to church - When Almeda returns to her home, she realizes her sickness is because her menstrual flow has started
4. Falling Action:
- She feels she is too sick to go to Church with Jarvis, and writes a note for him and sticks it to her door
- She makes herself some tea and puts a few drops of nerve medicine inside it - The medicine starts to affect Almeda and the room comes to life , she is so caught up in her hallucination nothing seems real anymore - Her grape jelly begins to fall over the stove and her blood starts to drip, but she decides to let go of her sanity, because now she is free (from society)... she has an epiphany in her delusional state - She realizes she does not want Jarvis or to conform to societies expectations, and the only way to escape is to lose touch with reality - She decides to write a poem of all her experiences and names it "Meneseteung"
- The ending is told entirely through two clippings from The Vidette and some present day commentary from the narrator - The first clipping describes the decline of Almeda's mental health and the circumstances of her death, she had been chased by boys and men from Pearl Street, and jumped into a river and caught pneumonia - The second newspaper clipping mentions Jarvis's death exactly a year after Almeda's death - The narrator describes going to Almeda's grave and how people make connections with historical...
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