Cold Ground by Anya Achtenberg: A Review

Pages: 3 (650 words) Published: March 31, 2015
Anacia Griffith
Comp 102
Dr. Roxanna Pisiak

In Cold ground by Anya Achtenberg the author subtitles the famous Bob Marley saying “cold ground was my bed last night and rock was my pillow too.” This is from his song talking blues. He is expressing the hardship of life in that time which is what Achtenberg does with the short story cold ground. Both the narrator and the protagonist suffered hardships, but reacted in two different ways. Even though the narrator is free physically she doesn’t feel mentally free to live life her way like the protagonist does. The theme is importance of allowing one self the freedom to be who they were meant to be. The narrator feels imprisoned because she doesn’t allow herself the freedom to be who she is. The author uses characterization, irony and comparing and contrasting to show the envy the narrator feels towards the protagonist being free. Achtenberg starts the story with physical characterization of the protagonist. She says “she was singing at the top of her lungs, bowing and pivoting on one hell and then the other. She threw back her head and drew her right arm up in a precise arc, like a bird with one wing getting ready to fly. “Achtenberg shows how free the protagonist is. She doesn’t understand how a homeless woman can be so happy. She envy’s it. Throughout the story Achtenberg shows obsession with this woman. She watches her every move in a mysterious manner. She doesn’t understand how happy this homeless lady in rags can seem to enjoy life more than she did with a job and a place to stay. She says “watching her made me think about the times when I had no place to go. There were a few years when I spent most of my nights in coffee shops or out in the streets or, with luck, stayed the night on the floor of a friend’s apartment.” As she compares herself to woman and reminisces the times she was also homeless and wonders how happy this lady can be living that kind of life....
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