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"Death in the Woods" is a "retelling" of events from the narrator's childhood, as he attempts to explain a death and its relationship to other lives. The narrator(s) in each story are generally unreliable, but Anderson is attempting to portray dysfunctional narrators who are trying to find meaning and beauty in the everyday life of common people. His circular story-telling technique makes for a fascinating read. Not only do his individual stories follow this technique, but the entire book follows it, as well. For example, the first story "Death in the Woods" is about the death of an old woman. The narrator, looking back, tries to organize his memories and create a meaning and beauty out of them. Rather than remembering an aged woman, he remembers a beautiful, "statuesque" and almost marble figure. The last story is about a dysfunctional family who experiences death in various ways- a potential physical death of a son and a rather more serious death that is not physical. It reflects on family relationships and how "enemies" among the family constantly occur, for example, a mother-daughter or father-son enmity.
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