A close critical reading of Mavis Gallant’s ‘The End of the World’

Days That Matter

Mavis Gallant

Mavis Gallant (b. at Montreal, 1922), is a Canadian writer.  Her short story and the subject of this essay, “The End of the World” was in 1967 published for the first time in American magazine, the New Yorker.  Additionally, this was the publication where the majority of Gallant’s catalogue of short stories made their initial appearances (Prescott, 2008).  Gallant enjoyed some success in both the USA and the United Kingdom before her collection “The End of the World and Other Stories” was published in 1974 in Toronto, which attracted extensive acclaim in her native Canada (Prescott, 2008).  In her personal life, Gallant has experienced numerous cultural encounters.  In the story, altruistic narrator, Billy, relates how he is sent for by his father’s carers as he ignorantly lies on his death bed.  The reader learns that the narrator is loathed to leave the asylum of his home and family in…

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