“The Management of Grief” is a short story written by American author Bharati Mukherjee. Using the first-person narrative, it tells the story of Shaila Bhave, a widow who has recently lost her two sons, Vinod and Mithun, and her husband, Vikram, in a plane crash. It is based on a real-life event: a Sikh terrorist attack on an Air India plane in 1985. Everybody on the plane was killed.
In addition to the symbols explained below, the use of voyages within “The Management of Grief” is another significant and interesting symbol to consider. In the first instance, voyages are used literally. There are many actual, physical voyages within the story as characters travel from country to country and oftentimes back again.
In the second instance, voyages are also used metaphorically. Not only are the characters on a physical journey, but they are also on an emotional one as they try to come to terms with their individual losses following the crash. The narrator, Shaila, is on an emotional...
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