Loneliness Leaves Clues
This story strangely portrays a relationship between a brother and sister who are going through depressing times: ?Loneliness left clues, and I would pick up his while he picked up mine, neither of us ever mentioning them?(82). The short story that I chose is from the February, 2002 edition of Harper?s Magazine. Antonya Nelson is the author of the story titled ?Ball Peen?, which refers to a hammer that the narrator describes as a ball peen hammer. This title is significant because it is referred to and used figuratively throughout the story. The author doesn?t let the hammer slip your mind, relating back to it whenever there is a chance. The ball peen hammer symbolizes the narrator?s strength. Much of her strength is derived from her brother, who gives her confidence and consoles her.
A young woman, placing you in her thoughts and perceptions, narrates the story. Her name is not mentioned in the story so I will acknowledge her as the narrator. She begins her story by glimpsing back on one Christmas when she is fifteen. This is the Christmas that her brother, Sonny, gives her a hammer as a gift. At first this gift meant that
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