Divorced, Beheaded, Survived

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Part A – “…Divorced, Beheaded, Survived” ”…Divorced, Beheaded, Survived” by Robin Black is a story about an average American family, with two generations losing someone close to them. The first person narrator is the mother of the family who lost Terry, her older brother, at a very young age. The story is partly told in flashbacks from the last summer with her brother and the neighbor’s kids playing in their backyard while reenacting the death of Henry VIII’s wives. The present part of the story describes how the unnamed narrator’s oldest son, Mark, has a friend that suddenly passes away in a car accident. The story draws parallels between the death of Terry and the death of Mark’s friend and how both deaths play a role in their ordinary family life. Losing someone as close to you as a brother, has inevitably affected the life of the narrator. She reveals how it has caused superstition “Mark and Coco are four years apart – we had been two apart, Terry and I. And maybe it was superstition that made me wait that extra stretch of time before getting pregnant again”. It has also caused drastic changes to her friendship with the neighbors whom she had spent countless hours in their backyard, reenacting the death of Henry VIII’s wives. “We weren’t really friends, anymore. And neither of us said a word to the other, not a single word.” It is here very clear how the friendship between the two girls were lost in high school. Though it’s very commonly seen that childhood friends lose touch when they get older, and especially when they reach high school, it’s hinted that it may be because of Terry’s death. Terry was described as being the most entertaining when reenacting and he passing away is highly likely the reason they stopped playing. The reenactment was the key to their friendship. If he had not passed away they would have continued to play together and their

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