Why did Julia sit on a table in the story "Volcano"?

Julia sits on the table to await an approaching ash cloud from an erupted volcano, which she believes will take her life. She is not frantic or hysterical, but rather seems tired and resigned, sitting on the table to await her end. We can infer from this that she has given up on life and welcomes this disaster, which is beyond anything she could try to fight against.

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"Volcano" is a short story about a woman who tries to prepare herself for the approach of an ash cloud from an erupted volcano. Throughout the story, the ash cloud gets bigger and bigger and closer and closer to Julia's home. The ash also clogs up the turbines in the power station, and thus stops the supply of electricity to the nearby homes. Julia comes to think that this might be the end of her life. She even looks at herself in the mirror and thinks that this "was how she should look in the end—quiet tears, no hysteria."

At the end of the story, having seemingly accepted that this ash cloud might mark the end of her life, Julia goes to her kitchen, where she pulls out a chair and sits at the table. She thinks to herself that she can "continue her mending" by candlelight. However, rather than reaching for a candle, Julia simply sits motionless at the table, thinking. She thinks to herself, "It has come to wanting a disaster that is beyond anything I can handle." The implication here is that Julia has given up on life. She welcomes the ash cloud because she cannot do anything about it, and therefore she does not have to try to do anything about it. We can thus infer that Julia sits down at the table simply to await her end. The fact that she sits at the table to await her end, rather than fighting against it, indicates that she is tired, resigned, and glad that there is an end in sight.

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