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The mother's main concern is not preventing the death by the sea for her sons -- that is almost a given -- but the recovery of the bodies for decent burial. Synge is not just referring to life and death on the Aran Islands, but to all our deaths. We ask not that we avoid death, but that we end it with the acknowledgement that we had lived, by those we leave behind. THe sweater tat identifies her son, and the vision of the rider on the horse are the outward signs of this concern.

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Riders to the Sea

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