Themes and message

Coping with loss

The main theme in the story “Bone Deep” by Martin Malone is coping with loss. The family members cope with loss in different ways. The father drinks, which appears to be a regular activity: “My father is tipsy. It is ten past nine on Sunday evening. He has been tipsy all day. He gets like this once a week” (ll. 10-11). However, this behavior appears to have already been present. In fact, the children’s frequent references to drinking suggest that the father might have been drinking when he fell asleep at the wheel.

The younger sister, Ann, copes by adopting a rebellious appearance: “She has a stud in her nose and a bar in her eyebrow. She talks about getting a tattoo.” (ll. 15-16). She also switches between ignoring the father entirely and trying to pick arguments with him. 

Like his sister, Ian finds it difficult to accept Marcus’s death an...

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