“The Cranes,” composed by Peter Meinke seems like a simple love tale regarding an old duo reminiscing about their life, however, with a keener look, the story exposes a darker constituent of love. “The Cranes” pursues an old couple’s halt at the Gulf to view birds. While observing the birds, the twosome notices two whooping cranes. All through their observation and conversation, Meinke discloses specifics shared by the couple and the cranes. Thus, the two whooping cranes the couple views in the story symbolize their rarity, unending love, and final moments together.
Meinke’s “The Cranes” recounts the last minutes of an old twosome before they perpetrated self-destruction. Even though the deed was non-explicitly portrayed within the text, various constituents in the tale insinuated that such an event happened at the terminal. The narrative starts with the representation of two Whooping Cranes. The Cranes are described as “two stately and tall birds, staring motionless toward the gulf soaring above the scampering plovers and bobbling egrets.” The birds’ imagery will be looked at within the remainder of the text either through the narrator’s description or the treatment of the twosome. Initially, one conveys admiration at the birds’ debut. Nevertheless, subsequently, one realizes that the bird’s map is treble. Initially, the birds act as a recreation (for the duo) of the deed they plan on perpetrating. I noticed the incessant referral of the birds in the thick of the twosome’s restatement regarding their grounds for perpetrating self-destruction. Additionally, I noticed the rapid displacement of attending from the birds to their bases for completing the deed as the married woman described the Whooping Cranes in comparison to other birds. She asserts “they make the other small birds appear like clowns.”
This assertion is instantly followed by the husband’s need for “a few clowns” observing that “a few laughs ne’er hurt anyone.” The wife follows this with a statement which mirrors her uncertainty regarding the wisdom of the act they will soon perpetrate. She asserts “I feel I am responsible. Possibly this is the incorrect thing.” It is significant to observe that the basis for oppugning their subsequent action does not lie in the twosome’s spiritual devotedness. I say this because of the manner in which the husband mocked faith when he asserts, “Do you wish to listen to the wireless? What of turning on that sermonizer channel so we can throw up?” The couple’s grounds chiefly lies on their concern for their children; the wife states “I wish the children were more settled.” This concern can besides be viewed in their agreement with the auto itself. The seats were covered using a shower drape to hinder the damage from the upholstery, thereby, allowing their children to reuse the auto.
The following plot of the Whooping Cranes, within the text, stands to compare the twosome themselves. Here, I noticed the couple’s portrayal of the Cranes “stately and tall,” “beautiful, exquisite birds.” The birds’ uniqueness is evident in how they are distinctive against other present birds, and in the man’s remarks regarding their rareness. I saw this as a symbol of the couple’s queerness, love filled life which lasted beyond their existence but prolonged into the sunset after their demise. The couple is capable of maintaining love and humor despite the vicissitudes in their lives. Although he “cannot smoke, drink martinis, no coffee, no candy,” and she feels like “a handful of trouble to everyone” they marvel at nature’s beauty: a sporadic and unique relationship.
Alternatively, I observed the couple’s portrayal of themselves. The twosome described themselves as blockheads. The husband asserts “I cannot leap edifies in an individual bund. I can seldom acquire up the goddamn stairs” Counter to this; the woman describes herself as incapable of supplying for the people’s demands. She initially condemns herself for her children’s status. This conveys the couple’s psychological province along with some grounds towards their decision of stopping their existence. Since they regarded themselves as individuals who lack worth, not only to other individuals but their children as well, they decided to stop their lives. Throughout the reading, I observed the couple’s fondness for each other. Nonetheless, the couple does not regard this as an adequate ground for life. As the couple performed the self-destruction deed as they ab initio “held up an item enwrapped with a plaid towel then set it in the forepart of them” and after that perpetrated the deed itself. The birds I believe stood as figures which counter and complemented the twosome’s existence and demise. The manner in which the birds complemented the twosome’s choice of demise shows in the Cranes’ position immersing upward toward the sky in an exact manner the couple plunged through their view of life which they together terminated.
The cranes signify life, delivering infants to hopeful twosomes, but here, in a narrative explicitly about death, the cranes symbolize new life together that commences when a happy life ends together. Frank statements regarding death are made in the reading; however, the feeling permeates the story. She asks earlier on “Perhaps this deed is wrong?” He convinces her otherwise and that he’s is alright with it. The woman seemed tired and deliberated (she coughs a great deal), and the couple covers the car’s front seats using plastic sheets, probably to prevent blood from squirting the seats. The man places an object wrapped in a plaid towel, and she inquires if the noise will hurt her ears (probably a gunshot). The cranes plunge upward startled by the gunshot. The cranes are both literary and conventional, as the twosome watches actual cranes in their final moments together. The cranes additionally signify the love and beauty the pair has shared since the Cranes breed for life. I believe the most critical symbol as depicted in the short story was the cranes themselves. Personally, the cranes stood for endurance, serenity, and longevity. Utilizing the couple’s dialogue to narrate the story adds a higher element of drama, while directly involving the reader. I felt like I was listening in on a couple’s private conversation.
Meinke’s “The Cranes” displays a narrative of human despair. The narrative recounts the experiential quandary experienced by human existence while contrasting it to the task of continued being which is faced by various members of other species. To me, “The Cranes” was a story which did not leave me with a sad feeling due to subliminal mentions of death. Instead, I believe the presence of the cranes as displayed in the reading not only gave me (the reader) the imagery that the characters were content but also left a sensation of contentment.