Acceleration by Graham Mcnee and Guilt

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Guilty Guilt is inevitable when one does something wrong. This feeling of guilt is present in Acceleration by Graham McNamee when Duncan tries to save a drowning girl but fails. Guilt also exists in The Penance by Osaki when a family’s gardener, Octavia, kills their cat and is disowned by the children. It is also present in Call Me Mr. Guilty by Loudon Wainwright III, when the speaker realizes he treats an individual poorly. Guilt affects these characters mentally overall in many ways. In these three works, the characters’ guilt causes discomfort, a different perspective of themselves and the desire for redemption. These characters have difficulties pertaining to their guilt. In Acceleration, Duncan is having trouble dealing with his guilty conscience. Seeing he did not have enough time to save the drowning girl, Duncan is discomforted through a series of nightmares; re-runs of the moment she died. Duncan wakes up from his nightmare: I wake up, gasping, my heart like a machine gun. The dark of my room is a soft gray, nothing like the dead black of the water. It takes me a few minutes to convince myself I’ve really escaped the nightmare. It’s the kind of dream that wakes you try and stay awake after, because you know it’s waiting there for you behind your closed eyelids. (McNamee 11) This quote illustrates that Duncan is uncomfortable with what happened. The nightmares of the drowning girl keeps coming back to him because he did not save her. Just like Duncan, in The Penance, Octavia feels uncomfortable because of what he has done. He killed the three children’s cat because Octavia thought the cat was eating the chickens. The narrator explains that Octavia was mistaken the entire time: To increase his discomfiture the march of events tended to shift the blame of ravaged chicken-coops from the supposed culprit who had already paid full forfeit; the young chicks
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