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Word Count: 818
Jo Ann Beard The Fourth state of Matter is one of the most emotionaly gripping essays I have ever read While leading me through her day to day monotomy of caring for a dying colliethe constant remainder of her recently vanished husband and the chilling account of friends and coworkers lost in at shooting spree at her office she is writting about a close friend A friend she never knew she had The face of love was the name she and her husband had given their pet collie Even now the dog gives her hope that her marriage is alive Having had the experience of being dumped I realized that I cling to things that are closely related to my ex-significant other Sometimes it was a song or a movie a restaurant or a place we used to sit together but there was never a material object that could act as a replacement In Beards case the dog acts as a shoulder to cry on in the wake of her husbands departure I feel that her love for the dog is a process of moving on We are in this together the dying game she says of her blanket-bound collie The continual action of changing the dogs wet blankets is exactly what keeps her going in life and not thinking about her husband who she has no romantic feekings for He is never named in the story and never described in any detail except for his frantic phone calls asking her if he is doing right by leaving The most detailed character descriptions in the essay are dedicated to her dog and her friend Christopher Goertz Hes hip in professorial cardiganjeans kind of way is her opening description of him She describes him in a way that shows me the fond nature of their relationship She knows every detail she can about him his current obsession at workthe plazma around Saturns rings the fourth
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