Loss of A Loved One. Amy Hempel ‘s short narrative, “ In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried ” is a semi autobiography heartrending narrative dedicated to her darling friend, Jessica Wolfson, who died from terminally ill. This short narrative shows complicated emotions and feelings of heartache and fright after losing a loved 1. The storyteller and the deceasing friend are nameless due to impact the reader to acquire the narrative more personally. Hempel does non advert the names of the characters so the reader can conceive of themselves related to the storyteller and her deceasing friend by puting the emotions and feelings of their ain to be the portion of narrative. By uncovering the characters ‘ names in the narrative might show the reader non to acquire from the feelings of empathy and heartache over losing beloved friend.
The manner of “ In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried ” is minimal art by utilizing an economic system with words and a focal point on surface description alternatively of utilizing otiose with words and a depict of description. Hempel does good with this manner because she can accomplish surprisingly throughout the critics. This short narrative is her first attempt at composing narrative when she composed in Gordon Lish ‘s category at Columbia. Her narratives are really well-known because they were taught among university pupil in the category of short narratives worldwide. “ In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried ” originally appeared in TriQuarterly magazine in 1983 and so reprinted in Amy Hempel ‘s first published aggregation of narratives in 1985, Reasons to Populate, as the most widely anthologized narratives of the last one-fourth century. Hempel is now well-known as postmodern author. She writes in subject of tragic comedy as if she attempts to conceal the heartache and unhappiness behind the smiling. Hempel avoids the words mean precisely decease in her narrative by utilizing the symbol of decease alternatively. It seems like she is still can non get by with the heartache and the loss. Even this narrative is minimal art but Hempel uses her endowments to do reader understand her work like she is painting on the canvas page. Her linguistic communication in this narrative is really beautiful by making sentences as singular with the usage of rhetoric and beat. Due to Amy Hempel ‘s interview with the Paris Review magazine she was asked how to do narratives endeavor for coherence, from linguistic communication to logic, to how an image develops. She told that the subject is music. Amy Hempel said:
“ I have started a narrative cognizing the round, the beat of the first line or first paragraph, but without cognizing what the words are. I will be making the equivalent of humming a melody over and over once more and so this melody will be translated into a sentence. So I might be believing, da-da-da-da-da-da-dadada, that will go, “ State me things I wo n’t mind forgetting, ” which is the first line of In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried ” ( Hempel Interview. The Art of Fiction No. 176 )
This narrative scene is in infirmary near California seashore. The storyteller reveals her grief narrative with her deceasing friend who is nameless. Both have much great clip together since they were in college. The storyteller has delayed sing her ailment best friend for two months because she frights of decease and loss. The friend asks the storyteller to state her something that she will non mind burying. Narratives that the storyteller tells her death friend are rather humor and light, the narratives that are nonsensical and trifle. Her friend enjoys listening to her narrative except the sad narrative one about the Pan troglodytes that has a heartbreaking in the terminal. Then the physician enters her friend room and the storyteller decides to walk out at the beach near the infirmary. At the beach the storyteller is walking along the seashore while believing about the relationship between her and her deceasing friend. The storyteller returns from the beach and lies down near the friend watching a film together while eating ice pick. Both autumn asleep because of the injection. When the storyteller wakes up, she tells her friend that she truly wants to travel place and she will non come back for certain. Actually, the storyteller fears that she does non desire to see a loved one dice in forepart of her. Even though she feels weak, little, failed and besides exhilarated but she still feels guilty that she has left her terminally sick friend entirely. When the storyteller said that she desire to travel place, the deceasing friend is dumb. She yanks off her mask and throws it on the floor and runs out of the room following the storyteller. Following forenoon her friend is moved to the graveyard, the merely one where Al Jolson is buried. The storyteller is ne’er come back to see her or even see her funeral ceremonial. She is still being afraid of decease and loss because she is non leting herself to sorrow the truth that her best friend is now died.
In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried shows how the storyteller feels guilty with her deceasing darling friend. In order to manage with that heartache feeling, she has to go forth her terminally sick friend by running off from the truth that a loved one is traveling to decease shortly. Coping with the decease or the loss of a loved one is non much easy. She sees herself as a useless and incapable individual who can non assist anything and besides leave her friend to decease entirely. The storyteller escapes from the cosmopolitan truth that everyone is born and dies. The fright is merely a failure empathy that makes the storyteller feels guilty.
Hempel ‘s chief character, the storyteller, said, “ The camera made me self-aware and I stopped. It was trained on us from a ceiling mount-the sort of camera Bankss use to snap robbers. It played us to the nurses down the hall in Intensive Care. ” ( Hempel 1 ) . She truly worries about the infirmary camera that is an impartial oculus records something really different from the ain her. The storyteller does non desire the nurses to look at and cavil her because she does non make anything incorrect. She has her ain determination to non see her terminally sick best friend and that does non intend she is a selfish individual. All worlds are fighting with the constructs of decease, frailty and loss of a loved one. It is her right to be afraid of all these sort. Waiting for her best friend ‘s approaching decease is really painful for her. Now she realize that life is excessively short for blowing but she still chooses to move like this without recognizing that would be fatal to her terminally sick friend. The storyteller had had a construct about how to cover with the existent dead. Amy Hempel writes:
“ I had a exchangeable in the parking batch. Once out of that room, I would drive it excessively fast down the Coast main road through the crab smelling air. A halt in Malibu for sangaree. The music in the topographic point would be sexy and loud. They ‘d function papaia and runt and Citrullus vulgaris ice. After dinner I would shimmer with lecherousness, bombilation with heat, life, and remain up all dark. ” ( Hempel 9 )
For the ailment best friend who is covering with the approaching decease ; nevertheless, she does non fear of decease but frights of deceasing entirely. She does non hold more adequate encourage go forthing isolation. The jobs follow her like a shadow, she is unable to run off from her unwellness. She is in Kubler-Ross phases of heartache ( Hempel 3 ) . The sick friend is still locked in Denial phase which feeling is by and large replaced with heightened consciousness of ownerships and persons that will be left behind after decease.
“ On the forenoon she was moved to the graveyard, the one where Al Jolson ‘s buried, I enrolled in a ‘Fear of Flying ‘ category. ‘What is your worst fright? ‘ the teacher asked, and I answered, ‘That I will complete this class and still be afraid. ‘ ” ( Hempel 10 )
After the decease of her darling friend, the storyteller enrolls in a fright of winging category ( Hempel 10 ) . She wants to manage with a fright of decease and loss throughout the true life lessons. The first measure was acknowledging her fright and accepting the truth. Worlds deal with decease in a many certain mode, of class in the beginning phase of fright, everyone is besides afraid of it even if they had ne’er face the fright before. Admiting you are afraid of decease and loss mean that you are populating animal in cosmopolitan. Peoples can merely trust to to the full understand and manage it. As a world we tend to fear what we do non understand.
The symbol that is really noticeable in this short narrative is mask. The deceasing friend, the good physician, the nurses or even Al Jolson were have oning mask. Mask is the lone thing that we put on the face and we can conceal emotions and feelings. The mask symbolizes the show that everyone is moving. In existent life, people ever wears mask to hide the existent them. Some put on mask to hide aching severely with a great large smiling and some put on mask to be an acceptation in society. Al Jolson puts on black mask on his face because the black mask gives him a sense of being free and besides the deceasing friend who wears a surgical mask to conceal a heartache and fright of decease.