In today’s busy world, many people get so caught up in their own ambience that they overlook all the other things out there. Some people seem treat their surroundings as if it were their own “little world”, creating tunnel vision to the array of the actual real world and all the things that occur in it. Pamela Zoline addresses this and many other issues in the short story, “The Heat Death of the Universe”. This piece reports the abstract, somewhat crazy thoughts, of the world from an ordinary housewife to the reader. At first, these thoughts appear to be coming from a severely confused and mentally unstable person, with no point what so ever. Contrary to the evidence stated in the text, “Sarah Boyle is a vivacious and intelligent young wife...proud of her growing family which keeps her busy and happy around the house” (192), the reader can see that the main character, Sarah Boyle, is quite unsatisfied with her place in life. This unhappiness stems from a wasted education, causing the apathetic housewife to resort to ceaseless contemplation, which shapes the life she has created for herself and the home she is trapped in.
The fact that Sarah Boyle was well-educated is pointed out clearly in the first few paragraphs, “Sarah Boyle is a vivacious and intelligent young wife and mother, educated at a fine Eastern college” (192). This fact can be also be easily deduced by the reader after observing the knowledge Sarah presents and the vocabulary she exhibits, such as “ONTOLOGY: That branch of metaphysics which concerns itself with the problems of the nature of existence or being” (191) and “ENTROPY: A quantity introduced in the first place to facilitate the calculations, and to give clear expressions to the results of thermodynamics” (193). Clearly, such words are not ones that would be regarded as common knowledge or everyday conversation topics. The terms used by...
Cited: Zoline, Pamela. “The Heat Death of the Universe”. Writing As Revision. Ed. Beth Alvarado and Barbara Cully. Needham Heights: Simon and Schuster, 1998. 191-200.
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