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"Pet Shark"

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"Pet Shark"

Flemming, Christina Jennifer (2009) "Pet Shark". Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Pet Shark uses humour to negotiate between the comedy that surrounds death and the reality of self-imposed isolation which one is often propelled to confront upon the death of another. At the outset of the novel, the unspoken despondency of the narrator over never having children with her husband has created a seemingly impenetrable divide in their marriage. When Helen and Harold become the legal guardians of their teenage niece, they must accept the shifting nature of the lives they assumed had been defined by circumstances outside of their control. Additionally, the novel seeks to confront the conflict between those who believe in the reliability of animal instinct versus those who prefer utilizing logic and science to account for the inexplicable. This struggle is represented by Tri-Pod, a three-legged cat, who unfailingly predicts death in the care home where Helen aids the elderly. Tri-Pod avoids human contact altogether, only cuddling with patients three to four hours before they die. While some view the cat as a saintly comforter, others refuse to believe the cat's ability is anything. other than coincidence. At home, Helen must deal with her husband's newfound obsession with obituary writing. Harold barely says hello to acquaintances but eagerly rushes out to conduct interviews with bereaved family members in order to capture sensory details for his obituary writing. He views the obituary as an artistic medium without realizing he is utilizing the form as a means to explore the external world which he rejects through his reclusiveness.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Flemming, Christina Jennifer
Pagination:iii, 250 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:English
Date:2009
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sterns, A
ID Code:976332
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:23
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:42
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