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Pharmacy

The characterization of Henry (senior) is done primarily through his view and actions towards others. In other words, through very little telling and mostly showing without any analysis of his actions. Strout trusts her readers to be able to develop their own thoughts and understanding of Henry. Besides the shifting between past and present at the end, I think there is another acknowledgement of time through the detail that both the men are named Henry, and Henry Kitteridge feels “a longing to be in the presence of the young couple, their faces turned to him with a diffident but eager interest as he recalled his own days at the university many years ago.” Henry (senior) also has in common with Henry (young) a longing for Denise and a college football career, but Henry Thibodeau had more talent in sports and can truly call Denise his.

I did not realize until this morning that Pharmacy is an excerpt from a novel entitled Olive Kitteridge – which makes me question who this story is really about. I originally thought it was about Henry Kitteridge and how he is dealing with old age, death, and the ways in which he tries to stay connected to his youth, but perhaps I have missed something deeper and more complex about Olive.

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