Dandelion Wine
Ray Bradbury
Contributed by Loretta Ingwersen
Chapter 31
Summary

She had long been a vital force of the household, but now Great-grandma has taken ill. Lying in bed, she prepares to die: she explains to Tom how her time has come, that she’s leaving with no regrets. When Douglas asks her who will do the shingles next April, she instructs him to choose a person who thinks the task is fun. Douglas begins to cry because Great-Grandma won’t be around anymore, but she assures him that she’ll always be around in those who have come after her, that any person who has a family never really dies. She gives instructions on how people should behave after her death and expresses interest in the final experience she faces. She hears her loved ones doing chores around the house, considers it correct, then dies.

Analysis

The notion of continuity past death - of a kind of everyday immortality - takes on yet another form with Great-Grandma, who sees her self continuing in the actions of those she leaves behind. This is yet another death for Douglas to face.

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