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Essay: Sorry for the Loss – Bridget Keehan: A Short Story About Good, Evil and Trust

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  • Published: 1 October 2019*
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  • Words: 891 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 4 (approx)

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“Sorry for the loss – Bridget Keehan”;

The essay “Sorry for the loss” is a short story written by Bridget Keehan in 2008. The story happens

in a jail, where our fundamental character, Evie, is going to tell Victor that his grandma "Nan" has

passed away. Victor doesn’t show any signs of grief or sorrow when her hears the news, which

makes Evie wonder. Later on, she discovers that Victor has accomplished something shocking in

his past.

The question about good and evil is extremely subjective. Because of this, it is important to know

something about the narrator of the story. A third person all-knowing narrator tells this story. I have

concluded this on the basis that the narrator knows the thoughts of all the characters in the story.

“She still finds the environment of prison abrasive and intimidating” and “… but realizes how

nervous she is and that her question is really about whether Victor is the dangerous, unpredictable

type…”. These two sentences demonstrate that that we have a knowledge in both Evie's' mind, and

in the officers' brain. Furthermore, we realize that the storyteller of the story is Evie, as she is the

one that the story is advancing around. We just see what is going on in her presence.

Evie's view is very positive. She has the ability to find the good things in other people, which she

does with Victor. The sentence, which she knows from the bible, “God says love the sinner, hate the

sin” plays an incredible part in her look upon good and evil. After she has been informed that the

reason why Victor is in prison is that he murdered another man with a knife, despite everything she

focuses on the sin, instead of the sinner. “She wanders back to the chapel trying to imagine a

butterfly and the damage it could wreak…”. This certainly stresses the point about her having

confidence in people. Furthermore, it is a possibility that the religion plays a major part in Evie's

look upon people. In the start of the story, Evie finds out that Victor is a catholic, and she obviously

find this interesting. “… he came up as catholic”. This could be the reason why she trusts such a

great amount in him in light of the fact that she prefers the Christian philosophy about adoring each


Simon Dybdahl Michaelsen 2.m English Essay


When characterizing Victor. In the beginning when Evie mentions Victor, she refers to him as

“Victor E22A”. Later on, as her knowledge and enjoyment of him develop, she alludes to him as

Victor Zamora, which is fascinating, because that it's directly after she figures out that he is a

catholic. She then continues to portray him as a “… good-looking boy who appears barely old

enough to be in an adult jail.”

Whether Evie considers Victor, to be a decent or terrible person it doesn't generally make a

difference to the reader. Victor killed a man, and later on, when Evie tells him that his grandmother

is dead, he just responds with “Why should a dog, a horse, a pigeon has life and Nan no breath at

all?” He is quoting Shakespeare and doesn’t really comment on the Nan furthermore. We as the

ones reading the story sees this as a cold-hearted action, but Evie simply thinks that she should “…

go back down to check”. This shows us that she believes in Victor, and she doesn’t see him as evil.

We are able to tell Evie cares about the prison inmates and its rather easy to find. It’s that there are

a lot of direct speeches, which I have been writing about earlier in this essay. This makes the short

story seem more interesting for the ones reading the short story, which is important because of the

nearly nonexistent level of drama in the text. Furthermore, the direct speech also tells us about

Victor and his situation as an inmate. He is tired of being by himself and alone, which is shown in

his level of boredom. This is probably also the reason, why he is so eager to be accepted on the

SORRY Course, which we can read in the following quote. “Did I get a place on the SORRY

Course?” In addition to this, his boredom has become so intense, that he has accepted a role in a

Shakespeare play. He is very eager and is trying his best to socialize with the other inmates and this

is his way of trying. The question now is; can a man that is ready to play a woman in a theater play,

really be that evil? Apparently so, but that is just the average reader opinion. As earlier mentioned,

Evie thinks otherwise.

The beginning of the story brings up the question about what is good, and what is evil. This story

takes place in a jail, which the normal individual would see as an evil place, loaded with

wickedness, cruel and evil people. This is the place Evie differs from other people; she sees the

positive qualities in the prisoners, and especially in Victor, even after she discovers that he executed

a man. She generally sees the best in all individuals, however on the other hand, as a priest, it's her

job to do so.

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