Every man need a woman when his lifes a mess
Do you ever put chores ahead of spending time with Jesus? A comprehensive, critical analysis of poems by Seamus Heaney. Share K. We have now placed Twitpic in an archived state.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Bebe Rexha - I'm A Mess (Official Music Video)
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Always fighting about cleaning? Follow these 4 principles for a happier household
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Everyman begins with its hero's end, his interment. Only three of the graveside mourners speak -- the dead man's daughter, his second wife and his older brother. Ordinary puzzlement, sadness and resignation are expressed: "That was the end.
No special point had been made. We see him as a dutiful good son who, yielding to his parents' wishes, sets aside his artistic aspirations and, after a tour of duty in the Navy, goes to work in advertising. He prospers, ultimately becoming creative director of a major New York-based firm. His infidelities figure in the breakups of at least two of his three marriages. Along the way, he fathers two sons they reject him with bitterness for having left their mother and a hapless daughter, who adores him.
His health abruptly worsens when he is in his early fifties and he has to live through 20 years of episodic but severe medical interventions: many surgeries, including a quintuple bypass. His medical miseries dominate his life. He retreats to an upscale retirement community on the Jersey shore and devotes himself to painting until he concludes that he has nothing to say in that medium and to teaching painting to his fellow residents. He hears of colleagues declining, beginning to die off.
A last operation for a carotid blockage is fatal. Roth has taken great pains to craft an archetypical American life for his readers to contemplate. The nameless protagonist "was reasonable and kindly, an amicable, moderate, industrious man," Roth writes. He has served his country. He has no visible politics. He is unreligious he gave up attending synagogue after his bar mitzvah.
He has met his obligations -- his material obligations -- to his immediate families, but he has made no wider benefactions that we hear of. In his thought-life, there's nothing distinctive.
He is reasonably stoical about his medical ordeals, which are brought to life in harrowing detail by the author, but toward the end he is less stoical. There is, in truth, more on the negative side of his ledger than on the credit side. He is self-centered to a fault. In conscious envy of his beloved elder brother's robust health, he turns against this man who has been his sole steadfast friend. He deceives his wives.
And he asserts a comfortably exculpatory determinism when he thinks over the many missteps in his life: "There was only our bodies, born to live and die on terms decided by the bodies that had lived and died before us. If he could be said to have located a philosophical niche for himself, that was it -- he'd come upon it early and intuitively, and however elemental, that was the whole of it. He seems never to apprehend that he is suffering at a privileged level, that great medical coverage means everything when the bad luck begins.
Still, it is for some purpose that we are conducted through the salient parts of a life not interesting in itself. What do we say, as readers, waving farewell to this man? What assessment do we make of his life? It's a feat, but through this clinically secular morality tale, Roth manages to extract love and pity for his created mortal. Bravura descriptions of his skirmishes with death skillfully penetrate the readers' normal, reflexive resistance to such images. Although our hero continues to fine-tune his rationalizations, his remorse -- powerfully depicted -- breaks through.
And virtuoso lyrical passages capture the protagonist's yearning for the strength and joy of his youth: "Nothing could extinguish the vitality of that boy whose slender little torpedo of an unscathed body once rode the big Atlantic waves from a hundred yards out in the wild ocean all the way in to shore.
Oh, the abandon of it, and the smell of the salt water and the scorching sun! Daylight, he thought, penetrating everywhere, day after summer day of that daylight blazing off a living sea, an optical treasure so vast and valuable that he could have been peering through the jeweler's loupe engraved with his father's initials at the perfect, priceless planet itself -- at his home, the billion-, the trillion-, the quadrillion-carat planet Earth!
From a distance, Everyman looks like a shaggy dog story -- a long, quotidian story whose meaning resides in its final pointlessness. Up close, though, it is a parable that captures, as few works of fiction have, the pathos of Being, as it's manifested even in the favored precincts of affluent America.
All Rights Reserved. All rights reserved. Around the grave in the rundown cemetery were a few of his former advertising colleagues from New York, who recalled his energy and originality and told his daughter, Nancy, what a pleasure it had been to work with him.
When asked by Nancy if she wanted to say anything, Phoebe shyly shook her head but then went ahead to speak in a soft voice, her speech faintly slurred. I just keep seeing him swimming the bay.
Howie remembered her and went up to kiss her cheek. The association that first financed and erected the cemetery was composed of the burial societies of Jewish benevolent organizations and congregations scattered across Union and Essex counties. My great-grandfather owned and ran a boarding house in Elizabeth that catered especially to newly arrived immigrants, and he was concerned with their well-being as more than a mere landlord.
Of course I thought first of the truly beautiful places where my father might be buried, the places where he and my mother used to swim together when they were young, and the places where he loved to swim at the shore.
My father loved his parents and he should be near them. A gentle-faced woman in her mid-thirties, plainly pretty as her mother had been, she looked all at once in no way authoritative or even brave but like a ten-year-old overwhelmed.
Hold your ground and take it as it comes. It still appeared as if he could run a football through the mmmmmiddle of the line, and he was seventy-seven years old.
It makes no sense. About my brother. We spoke on the phone whenever we could, though near the end of his life he cut himself off from me for reasons that were never clear. We can say of him what has doubtless been said by their loved ones about nearly everyone who is buried here: he should have lived longer. He should have indeed.
He loved being only nine years old and carrying the diamonds in an envelope in his jacket pocket onto the bus to Newark, where the setter and the sizer and the polisher and the watch repairman our father used each sat in a cubbyhole of his own, tucked away on Frelinghuysen Avenue. Those trips gave that kid enormous pleasure. I think watching these artisans doing their lonely work in those tight little places gave him the idea for using his hands to make art.
In me diamonds fostered a desire to make money. During the holiday season, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, he took the ad once a week. My little brother could sit there for hours, spinning the hands and listening to the watches tick, if they still did, and studying what each face and what each case looked like. One of the ones that worked. Still, that was the beginning of his using his hands to perform meticulous tasks.
My father always had two girls just out of high school, in their late teens or early twenties, helping him behind the counter in the store.
Nice, sweet Elizabeth girls, well-mannered, clean-cut girls, always Christian, mainly Irish Catholic, whose fathers and brothers and uncles worked for Singer Sewing Machine or for the biscuit company or down at the port.
He figured nice Christian girls would make the customers feel more at home. If asked to, the girls would try on the jewelry for the customers, model it for them, and if we were lucky, the women would wind up buying. My brother liked to be around the girls too, and that was long before he could even begin to understand what it was he was enjoying so much. He would help the girls empty the window and the showcases at the end of the day.
Corine, the great beauty, would sit at the workbench in the backroom in early November and she and my kid brother would address the catalogues the store printed up and sent to all the customers for the holiday buying season, when my father was open six nights a week and everybody worked like a dog. If you gave my brother a box of envelopes, he could count them faster than anybody because his fingers were so dexterous and because he counted the envelopes by fives.
On the outside of each envelope were the instructions for the setter or the sizer written by our father. There was the five- foot-high Mosley safe slotted for all the jewelry trays that we carefully put away every night and removed every morning. Going on and on, remembering still more. It was a Hamilton, made in Lancaster, P-A, and according to the expert, the boss, the best watch this country ever produced.
A very, very highly respected watch, the Hamilton. Everything for sale in those days had to end in fifty. Hamilton had a great reputation. That was the worn old leather case that he would always carry with him in his coat pocket whenever he went to do business outside the store: with the tweezers in it, and the tiny screwdrivers and the little ring of sizers that gauge the size of a round stone and the folded white papers for holding the loose diamonds.
The beautiful, cherished little things he worked with, which he held in his hands and next to his heart, yet we decided to bury the loupe and the case and all its contents in his grave. He always kept the loupe in one pocket and his cigarettes in the other, so we stuck the loupe inside his shroud.
He took it off for good only forty-eight hours ago. He handed it to the nurse to lock away for safekeeping while he was having the surgery that killed him. The younger, Lonny, stepped up to the grave first. When he opened his mouth, nothing emerged except a series of grotesque gasps, making it appear likely that whatever had him in its grip would never be finished with him. He was in so desperate a state that Randy, the older, more decisive son, the scolding son, came instantly to his rescue.
He took the clod of dirt from the hand of the younger one and tossed it onto the casket for both of them. And he readily met with success when he went to speak. The last to approach the coffin was the private duty nurse, Maureen, a battler from the look of her and no stranger to either life or death. When, with a smile, she let the dirt slip slowly across her curled palm and out the side of her hand onto the coffin, the gesture looked like the prelude to a carnal act.
That was the end. Did they all say what they had to say? Of course, as when anyone dies, though many were grief-stricken, others remained unperturbed, or found themselves relieved, or, for reasons good or bad, were genuinely pleased. Reprinted with permission by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Follow the Author
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