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“Land Of The Lost” By Stewart O’nan

682 words - 3 pages

“Land of the Lost” By Stewart O’Nan

The short story: “Land of the Lost” is written by Stewart O’Nan and is about a lonely woman whouses every spare minute she has got on finding a dead girl’s body.The main character in the text is a woman who works as a cashier at a supermarket. She livesalone because she is divorced and because her two sons moved out. Her German shepherd Ollie isher sole companion. Ollie is the only one who is really interested in her and he follows hereverywhere, no matter what.We do not hear anything about what she is doing in her spare time, not before we learn thatshe one day hears about a case with a girl who has disappeared. She follows the case closely anddiscusses it with everyone in her surroundings. She becomes extremely obsessed in following thecase, and after hearing a man named James Wade confessing that he had buried the girl, shebecomes obsessed with the thought of her ...view middle of the document...

The obsession of finding the dead girl’s body which is shown by the main character is asymbol of her trying to find herself after the divorce and her sons moving away from her. She is aware of the fact that her motherhood is finished and that her marriage ended, just like everyone isaware of the fact that the missing girl is dead, but she does not know how to find herself and beherself again after the divorce and “loss” of her children, just like no one knows how to find thedead girl after the murderer James Wade confesses that he buried her.A picture on the main characters struggle with finding herself, could be in page 1, line 18:“Bushwhacking through the overgrown no-man’s-land (…)”. She is cutting her way through bushesand other obstacles on her way to find the corpse, just like she is struggling with her view on lifeand how she must find herself after the divorce, her children moving away and the big emptinessshe feels afterwards.At one point she is sure that she has found herself, which is when she is sure that she foundthe corpse, but she realizes that she did not find it anyway. Despite that she keeps on trying to findherself and the corpse.The title “Land of the Lost” indicates that the murdered girl is lost somewhere in the land,just like the main character is lost on how to live on after changes in her life. “Land of the Lost” isthe time or area we all end up in sometimes, when we are on our way from one path of life intoanother. Some people spend more time in “Land of the Lost” than other people, an example is themain character using a couple of years in the “Land of the Lost” trying to find the dead body/tryingto find herself.In the end, when she finds the dead body, she is afraid that it might be a dud again, which isshown in her thought on the last page, line 139: “As long as she’d waited for this moment, shedidn’t want to see what was inside”.The ending is open, because we are not shown if it really is the girl she found, and if she really found herself, perhaps she will still be walking in the “Land of the Lost” for the rest of herlife? We will never know.

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