A Shocking Accident by Graham Greene: Summary/Review

Essay by bigkoreaHigh School, 10th gradeA+, November 2006

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In "The Shocking Accident", Graham Greene writes about a character named Jerome and the change he goes through as he becomes a different person in the end of the story. We see him as a whole new changed person, way different from the Jerome we knew from the beginning of the book.

Jerome is quite young in the beginning, for he attends school where he is told the news of his father's death. He had always thought his dad was some Secret Service Agent for Britain, and assumed that his father was killed in a gunfight when the headmaster told him about the death of his father. The headmaster tells him the incident of his father with the pig falling on him. Jerome wasn't so sure what to feel then, and he asks what happens. Soon, Jerome realized that this incident was a comedy to other people, and people started calling him "Pig" as a fun joke.

As Jerome gets older, he realizes how hard it is to tell people of how his father died. He always feels a pain whenever his aunt tells strangers about the death of his father. Whenever Jerome tries to tell someone about his father's death, he doesn't get the response he wants from the person. He thinks of many ways to explain the death of his father without having the other person be baffled at him or thinking that his story was a joke. As time passes, Jerome finds a girl he loves dearly even though he went through all those hard times, and decides to marry her. However, Jerome was worried about the situation of telling his future wife Sally about the incident of his father. He was afraid that she would see it as humorous and laugh at the story just like every other person did.

Jerome never gets around telling Sally about the shocking incident with his father. She would ask him about it, but he would pretend that he couldn't remember because he was so young. Finally, the two of them were about to get married and Jerome tries to avoid contact with his aunt, but that unfortunately doesn't happen. When Sally asks about the death of Jerome's father, Jerome's aunt tells her about it and Sally didn't laugh, but she became saddened at what happened. This made Jerome so happy and filled his body with joy. He goes about with Sally making love to her more then ever, and he suddenly has a bright positive attitude in him now.

We see that Jerome becomes more of a happy person in the end of the story, and he's relieved at the end because Sally accepts the death of his father as a mourning event, instead of a humorous joke. Jerome wasn't like this in the beginning of the story, for he was embarrassed of sharing the story of the death of his father because no ever took the story seriously. Now that Henry knows that Sally doesn't see the shocking incident as a jape, he isn't embarrassed about it anymore.

The change in Jerome shows that one character in the story like Sally can make a huge impact on any character. This change may have taken a while for Jerome, but his understanding of Sally and Sally's great personality changes his life, basically. One little thing can change something big, like Sally changing Jerome's world.