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The death of Coral’s son in the Vietnam War has caused a spiritual malfunction as she cannot accept her son’s death. And is now experiencing grief and distance from everyone. Furthermore, Coral has lost her communal identity and tends to grapple to find a link with anyone, as she “can’t think of anything to say”. Her husband, Roy, is annoyed by her strange viewpoint and this causes Coral to lower herself to the behaviour of a native child “I’ll be good! I’ll improve!” When Coral does begin to speak, it is presented as very eloquent and sorrowful. Her tone is filled with sentiment as she is repeatedly “wiping away tears”.

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