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How did John Updike represents "death" in this story A Sandstone Farmhouse?  

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berinache | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 12, 2010 at 6:50 AM via web

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How did John Updike represents "death" in this story A Sandstone Farmhouse?

 

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted January 12, 2010 at 7:40 AM (Answer #1)

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 In John Updike's novel "A Sandstone Death" he tells the story of a man who returns to the farm house where he spent his adolescence.  He had resented the move there when he was young.  However, his parents had bought the house where his mother had grow-up.  To his mother the house was a special place that needed her.

Joey does not handle death as much more than the dusting away of memories.  He begins to erase away the existence of his mother and his childhood.  He gets rid of everything that his mother owned since the time that she lived in the house.  He even has her animals taken away.  As Joey lets go of things he does not really grieve.  He is going through the motions of taking care of business.

It is after his return back to the city and the house is up for sale that he realizes what he has lost.  He relates his loss to his childhood and the comforts of the house which he realizes too late.  Like his mother, it is too late to get back the house.

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