Short Essay Questions Key
1. How does Mumma die?
Mumma dies from a stroke while she is cleaning the oven. Mercedes finds her, with her head stuck in the oven like the witch from Hansel and Gretel. She dies with her stockings rolled down for housework.
2. What is significant about Daddy's position in the armchair in the photograph of him described in the novel's prologue?
In the photograph of Daddy, he's sleeping, not dead. He is asleep in his pale green wingback chair and has his hair braided. The narrator is quick to points out that Lily put braids in his hair while he was sleeping.
3. What is the difference between Other Lily and baby Ambrose, both who died in infancy?
The difference between the two dead babies is that baby Ambrose died after his baptism, while Other Lily died when she was only one day old, before she could be baptized. The narrator surmises that Other Lily is stuck in limbo, and the narrator hopes Jesus will come down to limbo and take Other Lily to heaven with him or else she'll be stuck in limbo forever.
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