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Word Count: 688
A Drive to Destiny An Appealing aspect of Arna Bontemps short story A Summer Tragedy is the way he gives Jeff and Jennie Patton justifiable reasons for choosing to end their lives together When reading A Summer Tragedy the reader learns about the declining health unfair labor and loss of life the Pattons fall victim to This combination of hardships justifies the couples decision to fulfill the pledge they have made to one another The declining health of Jeff Patton is more extreme than his wifes Jeffs teeth have almost all fallen out a stroke has left him with one good leg and his mental faculties are starting to diminish He cannot even get his bow tied as he attempts to finish dressing Jeff twisted his mouth into a hideous toothless grimace as he contented with the obstinate bow He stamped his good foot and decided to give up the struggle 88 Jennie Patton is skinny and blind The effects from osteoporosis have taken over her bones and joints She seems more dead than alive She had a wasted dead-leaf appearance Her body as scrawny and gnarled as a string bean seemed less than nothing in the ocean of frayed and faded petticoats that surrounded her 88 The physical conditions of the elderly couple are reason enough to justify their decision to commit suicide but as Jeff is reflecting back on his life the reasons intensify Once settled into the car Jeff is able to reflect back on all the hard and unfair labor he was subjected to as a sharecropper of cotton He could not help but reflecting that the crops were good He knew what that meant too he had made forty-five of them with his own hands 93 He experienced the severities of sharecropping and had seen both man and animal die from it He and Jennie are both aware that no matter how hard he worked and how much
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