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From: StoneOx17@aol.com
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 06:56:17 EDT
Subject: (urth) Sherry Gold's death

In response to my post about Mr. Tilly's death, mantis comments

> About Sherry Gold, Stone Ox wrote:
> >I would counter that the most mysterious thing about Doris's death is why
> >she is in the book in the first place, and that Sherry's death occured
> >long after Weer's.
> No, my understanding is that Sherry died and then 
> Weer had a stroke the dayafter.  This stroke may or may 
> not have been fatal.

I'm not convinced.  I see Sherry's death as being one instance of the 
"everybody is dead" theme, and Weer's stroke as being the first of
his ailments in the afterlife (although it may be a reflection of a real
stroke that killed him) as in "... I am very ill.  Sicker, I think, than I
have ever been before--sicker, even, than I was this winter, before
Eleanor Bold's tree fell."  In fact, I think Weer had his posthumous
stroke _because_ Sherry Gold died, and that she was the last 
person alive who remembered him well.

The key is the following passage (p. 29 of the Orb edition)
"Now ... I feel that she [Weer's mother] lived on and on through whole ages 
of the world, as though she might have lived on forever. (As perhaps 
elsewhere she has.)  It is too late for it now, but it seems to me that we 
ought to have kept records, by the new generations, of our remoteness from 
events of high significance.  When the last man to have seen some occurrence 
or personality of importance died; and then when the last person who knew him 
died, and so on. But first, we would have the first man describe this event, 
this thing he had seen, and when each of them was gone, we would read the 
description publicly to see if it still meant anything to us--and if it did 
not, the series, the chain of linked lives, would be at an end."

This view ties in very well with my interpretation of the story of the geese 
of Lough Conn (is Lough Conn really the Kanakessee?) and the ending of Peace, 
where, when the last person to have heard of Weer dies, Weer's ghost reaches 
the end of his time and, not realizing that all he has to do to reach Heaven 
is repent of his sins and ask Jesus for admission, goes back in time to 
relive his afterlife.  The geese of Lough Conn are the memories of Weer held 
by the living, and the hermit who baptizes the goose is Dan French, who Weer 
finds instead of the doctors he is looking,\ for, but who nevertheless gives 
him the best advice possible.  

I set forth this interpretation in more detail in my post of September 7, 
2001, which, either because of its timing or its content, seems to have been 
largely ignored.  And thanks to Michael Straight for his suggestion, obvious 
once its been made, that the Chinese philosopher's headrest at the end means 
that Weer will be reliving his afterlife (and not necessarily for the first 

Stone Ox


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