The Necessary Grace to Fall Essay

Gina Ochsner
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Hong is a poet and the editor of a fiction and memoir anthology. In the following essay, Hong discusses how Ochsner humorously and empathetically explores the drives toward life and death through characterization and by employing the motifs of water and air, as well as the tension between falling and flying.

Ochsner begins the title story of her acclaimed collection with the intriguing sentence, “All summer had been a medley of jumpers and fallers.” In doing so, the author establishes one of the central themes of “The Necessary Grace to Fall”: death, and specifically the difference between intentional and accidental dying. She follows the opening sentence with grisly examples of ways to die: “The previous spring, simple dismemberment, and the winter before that, freakish hurricane-related deaths and injuries—deaths by debris, Leonard, Howard's immediate supervisor and cubicle-mate, called them.” Although the context for this morbid list is not...

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This section contains 2,343 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Necessary Grace to Fall Study Guide
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