Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo

by

George Saunders

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Lincoln in the Bardo: Chapter 104-106 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Feeling the blast of Bevins’s departure (which takes place right by the fence), a number of remaining souls make haste to their graves because the sun is about to rise. As they rush through the cemetery, they feel a deep fatigue in their bodies, which only makes them hurry along. Among these souls are the Bachelors, who fly over head and lament the fact that they have to return to their bodies, though they admit this is the price they must pay in order to enjoy the freedom of this place, where each night there springs the possibility that they might yet find what they never were able to secure in “that previous place”: love.
What keeps the Bachelors from leaving the Bardo is the hope that they might still one day find love. This is an interesting reason for staying, considering that Bevins asserts in his final moments that love is perhaps the only thing that makes the ephemeral trappings of life tangible and worthwhile. Under this interpretation, then, it makes sense that the Bachelors refuse to depart, for they have not yet attained the one thing that might give meaning to an otherwise fleeting and inscrutable life.
Themes
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon