In A Summer Tragedy, what is the first indication that Jeff and Jennie are planning something tragic on this summer day?
In the story, the first indication that Jeff and Jennie are planning to do something tragic occurs when Jennie asks Jeff to bring the car round in readiness for their departure. Jeff’s reaction after Jennie’s request shows that they are about to do something bad. He was overwhelmed by the thought of their journey and was overcome by shock and fear. Even before setting off on their journey, every subsequent thought about their trip distressed Jeff to the point that he became weak. The old couple had decided to end their lives by driving their car into the river because of the series of tragedies they had encountered. In the preceding two years alone, they had lost all their five children and Jeff had been rendered lame by a stroke that reduced his capacity to tend to the farm. He feared that a second stroke would paralyze him but he could not bear the thought of depending on blind Jennie. Their poverty had escalated and showed no sign of improving in the near future as they were still heavily indebted to Stevenson. Therefore, hopeless and helpless, they decided to kill themselves and free themselves of their troubles.