Collected Stories - The Third Resignation Summary & Analysis

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The Third Resignation Summary

In this eerie 1947 story, the only characters are an unnamed boy who exists in a shadow land somewhere between life and death—perhaps facing a premature burial. The narrator describes the young man kept alive inside a concrete coffin "through a complex system of autonutrition," where his body continues to grow, like a gene-spliced tomato run amok, although he is technically dead. The dilemma is deepened when the doctors describe the boy as having a "living death" during which he experiences normal growth. The doctor orders a normal-sized coffin for an adult be built; his mother places three pillows at one end to keep the seven-year-old boy comfortable during his living death journey. As the boy grows, his mother gradually unravels the wool in his pillows to allow him more room.

The narrator fixes the age of the...

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This section contains 524 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Collected Stories Study Guide
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