My mother's missing bees

Jaime Leigh Malloy


Sherwood Anderson's short story Death in the Woods" was first published in 1933 and is considered by many critics to be one of his best works. My thesis examines the role that the narrator's character plays in "Death in the Woods". I argue that it is the empathic relationship that the narrator forms with Ma Grimes (a character in the text) is essential to a critical understanding of Anderson's story. My thesis uses original research and interpretation of "Death in the Woods" along with the ideas of critics whose perspective on the work contributes to my argument. I also use a detailed analysis of an earlier version of "Death in the Woods" that appears as Chapter Twelve in Anderson's Tar, A Midwest Childhood to point out how Anderson altered the story structure and content to better establish the narrator's relationship to Ma Grimes. The critical and textual evidence I use to discuss the narrator's role in "Death in the Woods" contributes to my assertion that the significance of this character's relationship to Grimes is ultimately what drives the work and makes it a memorable literary text."