Thursday, September 19, 2013
Death in the Woods; Option #4
In ’Death in the Woods’ by Sherwood Anderson, I found Mrs. Grimes, to be a pretty mysterious character, especially given that not much is revealed about her past life. She keeps to herself since she doesn't bother much about the others and neither do they. The speculative and often conjectural fashion in which the story is narrated also further lends this enigmatic characteristic to her.
Upon reading Death in the Woods, I was reminded of an old man that used to loiter around my neighborhood. Everyone in the neighborhood had seen him around regularly, yet no one seemed to know when he actually moved in. Like Mrs. Grimes, not only was his history a bit hazy, he also appeared to be old and sickly yet his face exuded knowledge and wisdom. He had the visage of someone who would've had many stories to tell. Yet no one dared to lend an ear as he went about his chores relentlessly against the strain of his joints.
Similar to Mrs Grimes, he was just an example of a larger category of people that had no effect on anyone’s life. We gathered that he did live alone, or that no one cared for him since he would head out every morning to get groceries for himself and his dog, that he leashed around, despite how was evident it was that he should have been resting these years getting tended on by a loved one. But for him, his world and his love revolved around that dog and like Mrs. Grimes he was ‘destined to feed animal life’.
When we did find out that he had passed, we found out that he had arranged for the dog to be cared for at a local animal care facility for some months with what little savings he had. The community arranged for the rest of its care but we realized that, even in death, similar to Mrs. Grimes, the old man had made sure that his dog would not go hungry, while he himself faded into obscurity.