Trash: Stories - Compassion Summary & Analysis

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Summary

The narrator's mother has herpes. She is in the hospital, being cared for by nurses. Mama begs the nurses for morphine, and the narrator notes that the woman in the bed was not her mother because her mother "never begged, never backed up, never whined, moaned, and thrashed in her sheets" (190). The narrator's sisters, Jo and Arlene, also came to their mother's bedside. The sisters give their mother a cigarette even though it is against the rules.

Mama was first diagnosed with cancer when the narrator was 17. Mama lived for another 25 years past that diagnosis, however. Jack, the sisters' stepfather, is still married to Mama. Jacke never hit their mother, but he threatened her. Mama never talked back to him. Instead of beating up Mama, Jack hit her daughters. Since Jack is still around all these years later, even after Mama said she would...

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This section contains 1,780 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Trash: Stories Study Guide
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