Summary Of Karen Russell's Haunting Olivia

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The short story, “Haunting Olivia,” by Karen Russell, portrays two boys looking for their sister, Olivia, who died at sea. The boys stay with their grandmother on an island for the summer, and each night they sneak away to a boat graveyard to search for the girl. Guilt and grief consume the narrator, Timothy, and his brother, Wallow, as they search for a way to rescue their dead sister. Tim holds onto the idea that Olivia can continue to exist as a spirit. The narrator uses echo to create the effect of Olivia’s ghost. The boys’ grandmother, Granana, starts the first echo. On page six, the boys look at Olivia’s drawings while their grandmother calls from the other room, “Revelation 20:13!...Bingo!”(6). This Bible verse states, “...and the sea gave up the dead which were in it…,” referencing the way Olivia’s ghost exists in the sea. This verse does not have an echo, but immediately after this scene the boys have a revelation. They realize the cave they believed Olivia created, Glowfish Grotto, exists, and they imagine her waiting in the cave for them, wondering what took them so long. As if she leads them to her after her death. he pictures her saying when they would finally show up (5). Then on page ten, the exclamation “Bingo!” repeats, and …show more content…

He remembers her “stripey cerulean” blue eyes and uses blue as a delicate reference to her. A blue fish appears to him on page eleven, “a regular blue fish, solid and alive,” and begins to tap on his goggles, before swimming away, lost forever. The fish, believed to be a reincarnation of Olivia, parallels the way she left her brothers two years before. Even the way the fish acts around Timothy, tapping his goggles as if urging him to follow, mirrors the way Olivia begged her brothers to continue to play where her at the

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