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embarrassed to admit that he doesn’t see any ghosts” (Russell). From this line, the reader has an understanding that these are minds of young children who think they can find the ghost of their long-gone sister. Whether ghosts exist or not is a subject worth of discussion by those who believe in their existence. As the story develops, it is revealed to the reader that Wallow aged fourteen and his brother (the narrator) has been having numerous trips to the lake shore in search of their dead sister (Russell). They repeatedly scavenge through the boats at the shore with the hope of having a glimpse of their dead sister. The reader is able to notice the bully nature of the elder brother through the younger brother, who says, “On land, Wallow’s a loutish kid. He bulldozes whatever gets in his path: baby strollers, widowers, me” (Russell). These lines gives the reader an understanding of the kind of character Wallow sometimes retrieves into when he feels that he has all it takes to be a bully. This also explains why he drives the brother in search of the sister’s ghost. From the story the reader is also able to comprehend that the parents of the two children have resumed travelling to third world countries since the death of their daughter. This is because they feel the sons are grown enough to take care of themselves. As the story comes to an end, the reader understands that nothing positive comes out of the brothers’ search for their sister’s ghost. ...
In reference to the bullish nature of Wallow, the reader understands that in absence of constant care by the parents, the elder brother will always want to be protective of his younger brother. Character Traits of the Story’s Characters The character of Wallow in the story “Haunting of Olivia” is caring. As an elder brother, and at fourteen years of age, he protects his brother, who is twelve, because the parents are rarely with them (Russell). When they are scavenging the boats to find anything of value, the reader discovers that Wallow remains in control and keeps watch for the safety of both of them. This can be seen when he says to his brother: “All right, bro,” Wallow says. “It’s go time.” He takes my elbow and gentles me down the planks with such tenderness that I am suddenly very afraid. But there’s no sense making the plunge slow and unbearable...” (Russell). Moreover, Wallow is imaginative about nature and superstitious. He refers to the anniversary of his late sister as “unbirthday”. Since the sister died on that material day, he feels that it is her unbirthday. The reader knows that this cannot be termed as unbirthday. Wallow says, “…that means that tonight is Olivia’s unbirthday, the anniversary of her death” (Russell). The imagination and superstition in these lines is revealed from the fact that Wallow thinks that the opposite of birthday celebration is unbirthday. This is in reference to death anniversary of Olivia. Moreover, by believing that Olivia’s ghost is in existence and they ought to look for it, it is an act of superstition. Ghosts are not things that exist but they arise out of
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The play progresses
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