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Bergman’s, “Yesterday’s Whales,” tells the story of a woman who discovers she’s pregnant by her ‘anti-evolution’ boyfriend. Throughout the story, she uses italics to emphasize commentary going on within the narrator’s head. I thought it was very effective in the sense that it demonstrated the narrator’s hesitancy towards leaving her boyfriend; she was very precise and honest within the confines of her own head but refrained from expressing herself to Malachi. Love is something so fragile and delicate and this story places all readers who have ever experienced fragility right at the heart of inclining conflict: miscommunication. The excessive placement of different punctuation within, “Yesterday’s Whales,” also depicts miscommunication, embracing the sense that there is urgency or disruption the narrator is feeling.

My favorite quote in this story, which also depicts the irony in it all, is when the narrator says,

When someone’s ideal is the absence of all human life, romance is kind of a joke.”

I think it’s wonderfully witty that Bergman decided to introduce the narrator to that perspective later on in the story because it demonstrates the lack of comprehension the narrator had concerning her own emotions prior to becoming pregnant. The purpose of romance is to find somebody compatible with your own interests; somebody to build a family, buy a home and spend the rest of your life with. Without the chance of happily having a family with somebody, what is the point of trying to settle down with them? Especially if one person wants children and the other does not. I think it’s incredibly sad, poignant and beautiful.

 

Megan Bergman is brilliant.

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