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Love by Jesse Stuart has two major characters: the farmer and his son. The son, who narrates the story, sees the world as a place of destruction, but not always from the same place. The most evil of creatures can have compassion or tenderness as they destroy something. He relates a few tales about animals he has seen kill one another, but in a way that is not a massacre. He also sees that forgiveness must be asked when someone takes a life, when he pays penitence for the death of the snake he kills. When the last portion of the story happens and the boy sees the mate of the snake return to see her dead "love", something inside him breaks and he begins to understand what it means to actually love. The final portion of the story is told through the father's voice. He shows the reader that compassion for the dead, even for a dead snake, must be a priority in order to understand what love is.
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