Study Guide

The Art of Fielding Chapter 78

By Chad Harbach

Chapter 78

  • It's been two months since Guert died, and Pella is enrolling in classes at Westish.
  • Dean Melkin wonders aloud if her dad's death could have been "intentional" (78.24)—very tactful.
  • She has no idea why her dad would want to kill himself.
  • Then she wonders if they found out about Owen.
  • So she says, "All this has been exceptionally hard on Owen" (78.30) and when the Dean doesn't ask why or "who's Owen?" she knows that they knew.
  • And then she wonders if her dad really did kill himself, but she decides he didn't.
  • Angry, Pella wants to stick it to Westish, so she decides to take classes there anyway, and remind them whenever she can about her dad.
  • She goes to his grave, and doesn't think he should be buried there: "He belonged out there, in the water, which he loved" (78.47). (Remember all those times he talked about the water? No? We don't either.)
  • She decides that her dad should be buried at sea.

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