"Sad as She" written by Juan Carlos Onetti.

Essay by armor-helixUniversity, Bachelor'sB, December 2003

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A Life Forsaken

Have you ever just had enough? Have you ever spiraled completely, totally and incomprehensively into a state of apathy? Into a resigned conniption? The truth is that we all have, but very few are able to take it as far as the woman does in "Sad as She." Onetti uses the woman as a representation of the emotional limits that we as a human race all have. Everybody has a "boiling point" though many people don't realize how or why they arrive at theirs. Irrational actions are callously disregarded and the greater concerns for other people are ignored when somebody has reached their limit. Onetti gives us a "play by play" of how people's rationalities and common sense begin to deteriorate in relation to the events that take place around them. "Nevertheless, each blow, each humiliation, each penance and joy plunged her deeper into the fullness and sweatiness of summer, into the culmination that could only continue as a decline."

(Pg. 45)

People rarely snap in relation to just one, or even a handful of incidents. It is the culmination of months, years, or even an entire lifetime of depression that drives people to madness. People show warning signs of this happening, the first of which is usually carelessness or apathy towards things that people would normally have held sacred. This is apparent in the woman in the beginning of the story by her father's broken promises. "So the little girl learned that there is no word for tomorrow: never, nothing, permanence, and peace." (Pg.37) Here we see the little girl's mind being forged into an instrument of mistrust. Another cause for her mistrust was the affair that her husband was engaging in. This slowly took its toll on the woman, and though she never said anything...