Analysis of Robert Graves’ Story the Shout

1497 Words Nov 7th, 2009 6 Pages
Robert Graves’ story The Shout represents as a part of the book Collected Short Stories, which was written in 1924. This is the story in which reality and unreality are closely interwoven. Even though, this story gives a reader the creeps, it makes to think about very important things as love, soul and fear of death.
The Shout is the story within frames of the story. That is, the narrator retells a story he heard from Crossley in the Asylum at a cricket match. We do not know who is the narrator; therefore, we percept the narrator as the author’s “second self”. Thus we should believe the narrator and see the story about Crossley from his point of view.
From the narrator we get know that his interlocutor, Crossley, is insane and claims that
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Moreover, how to explain the fact that during the clinical death many people feel like the soul is leaving the body, and they may have a look at themselves from the another side, or see the dead relatives, or see the wonderful and pleasant light. Even though this process cannot be clearly explained by medicine, with Graves’ explanation of the soul whereabouts these visions are impossible.
Why did the author describe souls as the stones? Rachel says that “there may be more sense in a stone, more sensibility, more sensitivity, more sensibleness, than in many men and women”. Probably Graves wanted to point out that such a sensible notion as human’s soul is becoming more rough and crueler. Nonetheless, human’s soul is becoming more vulnerable. Graves emphasizes it by the braking of the stone which holds Charles’ soul.
Another instance of using symbols in this story is the horror shout which can be produced by Charles. As I understand, the main idea is that the shout is the synonym to death. People are afraid of death; however, they always were interested in what happens after death and are tended to reveal mysteries. Similarly, Richard is afraid of the death; nevertheless, he insists on hearing the shout. Finally, Charles gives up: “As you wish, but I have warned you what a shout is”. As a saying goes “Forewarned is forearmed”. However, Richard did not think about the effect of the shout; whereas, it influenced not only him but Rachel as well. After that day Rachel admires
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