Aimee Bender Analysis

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The narrator Aimee Bender tells the story about a troubled daughter and her declining father. Mentally and physically the daughter carries the problems of growing up. The hardship the father endures represents the stone back pack he wears. By willingly taking the back pack from him, she wants to make it easier and try to understand what life’s like for him. She uses the rat and dog as an example as their different but alike also. She feels overwhelmed and sensitive to suffering. Perhaps it’s impossible for one person to carry all the burdens of another. Maybe a person must carry their own burdens. She felt a sense of jealousy of the girl whose skirt caught on fire for a brief moment and unlike the narrator, her passion had arrived and that…show more content…
She wore it to a party and was dancing, too close to the vanilla-smelling candles, and suddenly she lit up like a pine needle torch. She got third degree burns up and down her thighs. With her amazing turns of her hips, and the warmth of the music inside her, did she believe, for even one glorious second, that her passion had arrived? (93). The narrator refers to this story as something she remembered in a paper about a girl in the flammable skirt. She felt the girl had passion and unlike the narrator she has never experienced being free and alive, so she was jealous of this girl for her happiness and lightness about her.. The Burning skirt represents fire, freedom and passion. She does not have the weight of all the worries that can carry a person down. She dances freely with passion. The story is told more like a series of brief moments in her life; however, all the things that have happened are connected, even the joke about the rat and dog. She carrying the backpack has come to resemble each other. Just like the dog that looks like the rat and it’s not natural and equally unnatural to carry all the burdens of her father. Her father often said, “Bland is a state of mind.” (Bender 89). Meaning that it’s a “mood” or “outlook” of a personal mental

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