The Grim Reaper Floats
The story Floating by Karen Brennan is about a woman who can miraculously float. She floats around the house day after day seeming to never leave. Her husband, however, seems completely unimpressed by her ability and sees her as a burden. A burden that he must feed and take care of. It is not long into the story before she finds a baby and brings it into her house. While this is happening another story is being told about a woman who meets Satan, and has a conversation with him in her house. The author intended for all of these events to relate to each other, and also to have some sort of deeper symbolism. The woman who aimlessly floats through the halls of her house does not have a choice, she is trapped. Her and every one else in the story is dead and stuck in Purgatory waiting for their eternal fate to be decided. All of them experiencing death in a different way, the man bitter and mean, the woman and baby oblivious, and the story of the woman who spoke to Satan is already destined for hell.
According to the hell depicted in both Dante's Inferno and The Divine Comedy before Langstrand 2
you enter hell there is a place called Purgatory. Purgatory is a place you go after death where you wait for the decision on whether or not you go to the eternal resting place of heaven, or if your soul is damned for the remainder of time in the pits of hell. Purgatory is where the majority of the story takes place. The woman does not know she is in Purgatory and that is why she is so amazed she can float. Floating is commonly a property given to the deceased, as in ghosts or spirits. The author also gave his character this ability as to hint to her death. She is trapped in her house, which is a symbol for Purgatory and that is why she feels she cannot leave. “I wish I could float at the supermarket or even outside beneath the stars, over the treetops which would be...
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