The Deep End of the Ocean
An examination of the theme of grief in the novel “The Deep End of the Ocean” by Jacquelyn Mitchard.
“The Deep End of the Ocean” is a book about grief and how an imperfect American family deals with the loss of a son. The book explores the themes of grief and loss, uncertainty, and of guilt, as it delves into the Cappadora’s reactions to the loss of their three-year old son, Ben. The paper analyzes this central theme of the novel and how it influences the characters.
There are several themes explored in Mitchard’s book. Primarily, The Deep End of the Ocean is a book about the emotion of grief. Mitchard delves deeply into the theme of grief and loss, and chronicles this experience in all of the immediate family members. This grief is the focal point of the novel, and runs through almost every experience the family has after loosing Ben. Before his disappearance, Ben worries that the ocean is too deep, and will harm him, Beth replies, Don’t be afraid. Mama would never let the ocean snatch you away` (page 126). The deep end of the ocean is an excellent metaphor for the grief, and depth of loss that Beth and the other family members feel after Ben is disappears.`
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