A shocking accident
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In “The Shocking Accident”, Graham Greene writes about a character named Jerome and the change he goes through as he becomes a different person in the end of the story. We see him as a whole new changed person, way different from the Jerome we knew from the beginning of the book.
Jerome is quite young in the beginning, for he attends school where he is told the news of his father’s death. He had always thought his dad was some Secret Service Agent for Britain, and assumed that his father was killed in a gunfight when the headmaster told him about the death of his father. The headmaster tells him the incident of his father with the pig falling on him. Jerome wasn’t so sure what to feel then, and he asks what happens. Soon, Jerome realized that this incident was a comedy to other people, and people started calling him “Pig” as a fun joke.
As Jerome gets older, he realizes how hard it is to tell people of how his father died. He always feels a pain whenever his aunt tells strangers about the death of his father. Whenever Jerome tries to tell someone about his father’s death, he doesn’t get the response he wants from the person. He thinks of many ways to explain the death of his father without having the other person be baffled at him or thinking that his story was a joke. As time passes, Jerome finds a girl he loves dearly even though he went through all those hard times, and decides to marry her. However, Jerome was worried about the situation of telling his future wife Sally about the incident of his father. He was afraid that she would see it as humorous and laugh at the story just like every other person did.
Jerome never gets around telling Sally about the shocking incident with his father. She would ask him about it, but he would pretend that he couldn’t remember because he was so young. Finally, the two of them were about to get married and Jerome tries to avoid contact with his aunt, but that unfortunately doesn’t happen. When Sally asks about the death of Jerome’s father, Jerome’s aunt tells her about it and Sally didn’t laugh, but she became saddened at what happened. This made Jerome so happy and filled his body with joy. He goes about with Sally making love to her more then ever, and he suddenly has a bright positive attitude in him now.
We see that Jerome becomes more of a happy person in the end of the story, and he’s relieved at the end because Sally accepts the death of his father as a mourning event, instead of a humorous joke. Jerome wasn’t like this in the beginning of the story, for he was embarrassed of sharing the story of the death of his father because no ever took the story seriously. Now that Henry knows that Sally doesn’t see the shocking incident as a jape, he isn’t embarrassed about it anymore.
The change in Jerome shows that one character in the story like Sally can make a huge impact on any character. This change may have taken a while for Jerome, but his understanding of Sally and Sally’s great personality changes his life, basically. One little thing can change something big, like Sally changing Jerome’s world.
In A Shocking Accident, how does Jerome’s question “What happened to the pig?” suggest Graham Greene’s belief that life is basically absurd? It makes us realize that life is absurd because is not important at all what happens to a pig but in this case it was somehow important because this pig caused the death of Jerome´s father.
Jerome tries to deal with his father’s death and move on with life. Despite his efforts to move on, Jerome still appears as an absurd character in the story. List examples of what Jerome says and does that indicate that he is an absurd character. – He spends tons of time thinking abaout ways to hide that his father was killed by a pig. – His father was killed by a pig.
– He was called pig himself
– He thinks that people judge him because of his father´s death and his stressed about it. – He can`t trust his father`s death even to his own grilfriend.
Greene’s story recounts the long-term effects that the father’s death has had on Jerome’s behavior. Explain why “A Shocking Accident” is an ironic title for Greene’s story. It is an ironic title because the accident is not schocking at all. It is just very unusual. A schocking accident would have been a car crash but a pig falling from the sky is just very random.
Jerome is faced with a problem not of his making. Describe what happened and why it has become a problem for Jerome. Then, tell how you would feel about this shocking accident if you were Jerome and had to explain the situation to friends. What happened is that Jerome´s father was walking on the streets and suddenly a pig fell from a balcony and landed on top of him. This caused his dead. The problem for Jerome because his very and embarrased and frustrated because his dad died because of the most ridiculous situation that could have cause a dead. He fears that if he tells the story of his father´s dead people will laugh at him. I would also feel very frustrated if something like this happend to my dad because I would feel that such incident would reduce his life to an absurd death. I would definately invent another story of how my father died because I would want to see anyone laughing due to the death of my own dad.
In your opinion, do the authors of “The Rocking-Horse Winner” and “A Shocking Accident” reveal any elements of social criticism? Support your response with examples. A social tendency that is very criticized in both of this stories is the fact that people worry to much about what people say or think about them. They spend their time trying to figure out ways of appearing normal to societie`s expectations. Also, they focuse to much on superficial things like money or embarrasement instead of enjoying other things they have like family and friends.