The Management of Grief Characters

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Shaila is the central character of "The Management of Grief." Her third person voice narrates the story and offers poignant reflection, provocative implications and subtle irony. Her tone can be described as understated and detached, but it is by no means dispassionate. Like the appearance of calm that masks her "screaming" within, the even, often soothing tone of the narrative voice stretches thinly over Shaila's rage and pain. She is shellshocked by the rapid succession of devastating events.

Shaila's husband and two sons have been the killed in the crash of Air India Flight 182. Some consider her callous and insensitive for not openly grieving, but Judith Templeton, the government social worker, hears that she is a "pillar" of the community and solicits her help. Shaila scorns Judith's textbook methods of "managing" grief but agrees to play the cultural liaison out of politeness. Shaila wishes she could "scream...

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This section contains 2,146 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Management of Grief Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Management of Grief from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.