A Virtuous Woman Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How did Ruby die, and why was this so frustrating for Jack?

Ruby died of lung cancer. This was especially frustrating for Jack because he had told her she shouldn't smoke the first time he met her, and he had wanted her to quit for years.

2. What did Jack do while Ruby was in her coffin, and why?

Before she was laid to rest, Jack hid Ruby's ashy fingers. To him, it was like hiding the murder weapon, and he didn't want anyone to think of Ruby as anything less than beautiful.

3. What is Jack's last memory of Ruby?

Jack's last memory of Ruby is of her lying in a hospital bed, all skin and bones, barely able to speak and motioning for a cigarette.

4. At the beginning of Chapter 2, what was Ruby doing, and why?

At the beginning of Chapter 2, Ruby was filling the deep freezer with meals for Jack to have after she died. She wanted to provide for him as long as possible, giving him a few months to get used to caring for himself.

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