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Part 3 Summary - Death

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 137

Part III—Death
The story’s pace accelerates with the speed of disaster. The men from the mine arrive with Walter’s body, and now Elizabeth knows for certain that he has died. She shows almost more concern for her carpet and a smashed vase than she does for the body of her husband, but she goes and kindly comforts her daughter woken by the sounds in the house. After the men leave, depositing the body in the parlor, but safely away from the carpet, Elizabeth Bates and her mother-in-law begin to wash the body. Rinsing the dirt from the unmarked body, Elizabeth comes to reevaluate her husband’s worth and their life together, realizing that they never really knew each other and that she might have been to blame for the failure their marriage had become.

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Part 2 Summary - The Search

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