The opening paragraph of Sing, Unburied, Sing, reveals the back bone of the novel and it gives readers an insightful manner in how the rest of the novel will progress with the turn of every page. Jojo’s bold claim about death in the first lines, makes death a prominent theme that the characters cannot escape from and it becomes an important sustenance to each of them as they face their personal demons that plague them constantly throughout the novel. The reoccurring theme of death presents a larger and deeper subject matter that goes beyond the traumatization of losing a loved one to death. The first paragraph in addition gives readers a clear picture of Jojo as a character.
Similar to The Bluest Eye, Jesmyn Ward presents readers with the set-up of the novel with only a few words from one of the main characters. The introduction provides various functions that allows…show more content… Jojo’s statement, “I like to think I know what death is,” provides readers with a certain view of the character that he may be mature beyond his young age, enough to know that death is an imminent threat no one can escape. The statement ushered by Jojo, in the beginning also creates a specific atmosphere that alludes to the complicated hardships of life that he may or may not understand given his young age of thirteen years old. Reading beyond the introduction, readers can see that Jojo and his family is constantly surrounded by the different forms of death, thus giving him a clear view between life and death. With the constant reminder of his grandmother slow death and his grandfather’s story of the death of another boy, Jojo may feel validated to state that he knows death and he is not a stranger to it when he says, “it’s something I could look at straight,” because he is learning to understand what it really means. The introduction does not only demonstrate the reoccurring theme of death in the novel, it