The Old Couple In The Cranes By Peter Meinke

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The set of characters on which this essay is focused on derives from “The Cranes” which was written in 1987 by Peter Meinke. Meinke is an American poet and short story author and has earned two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. This story can be found in The Bedford Introduction to Literature by Michael Meyers. This story takes place near a marshy shore with two tall birds moving towards the gulf. “The Cranes” is a story of an elderly couple’s last few moments on earth before they decide to end it all. As they watch the birds and ruminate on the past they try to give justifiable reasons as to why they should end it all. This is given in detail through Meinke’s use of comparison between the cranes and the old couple. In this essay the flat, ailing, burdensome, loving, reminiscent, ‘elderly couple’ will be analyzed. From the opening of the story to the end the ‘elderly couple’ kept their same mindset. For this reason they can be described as flat opposed to being described as round characters. We can support with several pieces of evidence from Meinke’s writing. “They leaned forward in the car, and the shower curtain spread over the front seat crackled and hissed.”(Meinke pg.630). It is here where we get the first hint of the suicidal mindset that the characters have. Furthermore we can look a bit more into the text where it states,…show more content…
This is seen a few times throughout the story. “’No way. I can’t smoke, can’t drink martinis, no coffee, no candy. I not only can’t leap buildings in a single bond, I can hardly get up the goddamn stairs.’” (Meinke pg.631). Here we can see that there must be some type of illness preventing him from eating certain foods and doing certain activities. Evidence that they have ailments can also be seen where it says, “began to laugh, but the laugh turned into a cough and he had to pat her on the back until she stopped.” (Meinke

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