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The Urban Coop

I felt that what this story is about is much more explicitly discussed in the writing. It isn’t so much a case of what the narrator isn’t saying, as it has been in other pieces we’ve read. I don’t feel as though Bergman shies away from talking about her characters’ anxieties at all.

Is she able to do this so successfully because the nature of this particular narrator is very introspective?

I’m not just referring to her therapy sessions. The main character was very vocal within her own mind about how she felt about her aging body, her guilt over Zydo’s accident, etc. — something that I feel is really enhanced by Bergman’s particularly intimate style of writing. It’s different from the self hate that we saw in Another Story She Won’t Believe, because it’s not really until the last few lines of that story that we see the main character verbally (albeit internally) admitting to her regret and desperation. Everything beforehand had really felt more resigned to how she was and the inescapable grip of her alcoholism. In The Urban Coop, she is constantly agonizing over things, whether it be in her search for an assistant for the garden or her flashbacks to that night on the boat. Does this neurosis allow Bergman more freedom to get down into the meaning of the story in ways she might not be able to with a different character?Or am I just missing what the true meaning of the story actually is. One of my second-guessing theories is that maybe she shouldn’t be so worried about her ability to care for something (and not be so obsessive over Zydo’s accident) because she does such a fantastic job with taking care of the “customers” at her garden, despite all of the difficulty that goes along with their lifestyles.

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