Exploitation of Grief and Loss of 9/11 Essay

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Exploitation of Grief Jess Walter creates a post 9/11 world that balances precariously between real and surreal. It is real enough that the reader is able to comprehend how awful the attack truly was; but surreal enough that the reader feels the same way most Americans did at Ground Zero—confused, frightened, and grief stricken. Remy, the unwilling hero in all of this is exposed to many different forms of grief both public and personal. Using irony and satire, Walter critiques the way public forms of grief were presented as the only viable ways of grieving after 9/11. Reporters wanted to broadcast each and every loss. The government wanted to exploit the grief of the American people so that they could continue what they were doing in …show more content…
Exploitation of Grief Jess Walter creates a post 9/11 world that balances precariously between real and surreal. It is real enough that the reader is able to comprehend how awful the attack truly was; but surreal enough that the reader feels the same way most Americans did at Ground Zero—confused, frightened, and grief stricken. Remy, the unwilling hero in all of this is exposed to many different forms of grief both public and personal. Using irony and satire, Walter critiques the way public forms of grief were presented as the only viable ways of grieving after 9/11. Reporters wanted to broadcast each and every loss. The government wanted to exploit the grief of the American people so that they could continue what they were doing in Guantanamo Bay and Iraq with the abuse of detainees and electronic eavesdropping, but this time in the name of “counterterrorism”. The Portraits in Grief and Edgar’s monologue about personal grief versus general grief are prime example of how grief during this time was commercialized. After September 11, the New York Times ran a series called Portraits in Grief. What it was was “little cross-section obits of people who’d died that day—four or five every day, presumably until their inventory ran out” (144). Walter paints this series in a negative light. Walter’s satirical critique of April’s interaction with the reporters of the Times suggests that those who died were merely objects the Times used to manufacture grief in order to sell

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