People Like That Are the Only People Here: Canonical Babbling in Peed Onk Themes & Motifs

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Distress

One of the story’s primary emotional focuses is how the Mother handles the stress of her son’s illness and treatment; a primary facet of this narrative focus is the story’s evocation of tonal dissonance as a means of processing distressing situations. More specifically, the story generally utilizes a mixture of humor and pathos in order to demonstrate the Mother’s own state of mind and attempts to process the stress of her circumstances. For example, after the Mother is told by hospital staff to bring the Baby to the hospital, the narration conveys her thoughts thusly: “Such pleasingly instant service! Just say ‘blood.’ Just say ‘diaper.’ Look what you get!” (213). This dissonant, somewhat ironic tone demonstrates the mother’s penchant for irony as a means of processing unpleasantness. The Mother conveys such penchants throughout, both in her words and her thoughts, and thus...

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