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“I felt like a damn fool whenever I actually said anything about this kind of feeling and she looked at me like she could start hating me real easy and so I was working on saying nothing, even if it meant locking myself up.”

Butler chooses to have us read this story from first person point of view, which is effective because it gives us the protagonist’s direct and immediate thoughts. We may struggle to understand that “hello” means “You are still connected to me, I still want only you.” Through this point of view, we also are able to read the story as if it were actually through his eyes. This allows us to view the wife as he would be viewing her. It also allows us to see the world in a different way. This creates an interesting aspect in the reading of the story.

Another smart choice is to have this character, who was quiet and self-sheltered, turn into a parrot in his afterlife. He essentially turned himself into a parrot at the end of his life, so he returned as one. Could this be a comment on how people affect their reincarnation by the choices they make in life? Is it possible that the way we end our lives is the way we will start it in the next one? If so, Butler makes this comment hilarious and depressing. Having the husband die from suffering head trauma and having him killed himself with head trauma is a startling and heartbreaking detail. It’s made more heartbreaking through the fact that he gets another chance to be with his wife, only to be tortured by watching her infidelity. As we’ve continually discussed in class, this is a comment on the human experience of mistrust and grief.

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