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In Campbell’s “Falling” I was originally struck by the beautifully odd contrasts that Campbell chooses to use in the story. In the beginning, the narrator’s gender is undefined, therefore the reader is presented with a character who takes on a masculine personality which is evident through the cursing, the way this narrator has been working outside all day, and how they are confused about the tears in their eyes at the sight of Jonas. Usually, I am one for saying that knowing the gender doesn’t matter, but in this story it is beneficial that Campbell decided to make the narrator a woman. The contrast of this seemingly strong woman around the two decrepit men, Jonas and Robert, gives the reader more inclination as to why she would be suicidal as well. The narrator is contrasted against Jonas, a middle aged man who has thrown his youth away for drugs and attempted suicide and has pulled at the narrator’s heartstrings (despite burning down her home). The narrator is also contrasted against Robert, an old man who’s body is falling apart day by day.

I enjoyed that the biggest comparison, death, was made with unlikely comparisons, like her gardening. When both her and Jonas look at the falling (yes, falling) berry, she sees blood. The two characters that have contemplated death, study the falling berry, its a perfect choice by Campbell. I also love when she contrasts their two thought methods with suicide: Jonas’ attempted against the narrator’s methodical thought process of the gun and her brain, “For myself, I already have a plan. A .22 bullet penetrates the skull, but can’t get out, so it spins around inside your head and scrambles your brain like eggs” (110). This was a stunning way for the narrator to think about suicide, it’s so eerily calm the way that she talks about it. I wouldn’t think to compare my brain to eggs and have a bullet spinning inside, grinding up the bad thoughts that were kept there. Campbell perfected imagery in Falling and that quote is one example of the way she used this imagery to create such intricate characters.

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