Peeling

Peeling is one of Carey's most disorientating, seedy and claustrophobic stories. Despite a few concrete details, the setting of the story and the backgrounds of the characters are so deliberately ambiguous, their place in so story so ostensibly symbolic, that it is more allegory than story, and yet the meaning of the tale itself is also deliberately ambiguous. Life and death are here; the end of life, and the very beginning. It shares something of its desolate, highly symbolic tone with some of the most refined works of modernist writers and poets, particularly T. S. Elliot (see "Gerontion") and Virginia Woolf's short story "The Symbol". The ending of the story is perhaps Carey's most surreal moment, attempting to reflect a truth that is subconscious, rather than literal.

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Peeling