The Bath by Janet Frame
3 March 2002


In youthful optimism I have come up with a solution for many of the apparently unavoidable difficulites that I see hovering on life's horizon, but from here the problems brought on by old age seem insoluble. This short story merely enforces that idea. Generally I try not to think about my own coming autumn years, and now that Janet Frame has caused me to try, I don't know what to think. I have a young person's horror of growing old, of losing my independence, of the prospect of death drawing near. Perhaps it's because it's the final obstacle (to what, I don't know) and it cannot be overcome. I am just starting out on life and don't want to have to think about how it will end... yet the realisation of how much of my life is already gone is terribly frigtening.

Having said that I suppose it would seem that I dislike the story, as it makes me think about things I don't want to think about. But I don't dislike it particularly. I reread it as I do most grisly, frightening or unpleasent passages - perhaps I am searching for answers as to why the events in question occurred, or perhaps for clues to help me avoid similar situations. Perhaps both. I don't know, really.


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