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Growing up The setting of the story is set in the garden. It is described as a wilderness. It has a small vegetable patch near the pond. I think this garden could have potential if it was cared for and not used as the children's 'Play area'. It has one bed where Mrs Quick (one of the main characters) 'grew flowers for the house' and it 'hadn't been touched for years'. She had lost care for it. Old apple trees tottered over seedy laurels, unpruned roses where in the garden and tall ruins of dahlias and delphiniums hung from broken sticks. From the way the writer had written about the garden, he describes it as if it was like a jungle. I know this because he keeps referring it as 'wilderness'. The reason for its neglect was that it was for the children and that 'they should do what they like there'. This phrase is a hint into what is to come later on in the story. Mr quick like that their garden was different from other neighbours because he was proud that it was different and that his children had created a place where his children could play and relax. It was like a 'play area' for them. The writer repeats the word 'wilderness' to emphasise the state of the garden. He wants the readers to understand that the garden is like a 'forest'. The condition, the smell, everything. 'Sun just warming up... making even old weeds shine red and gold'. The reader says this because even though the garden is like a jungle, it still is beautiful. Weeds are said to be ugly and most people want to get rid of them but the writer wants the readers to understand that the garden is beautiful, weeds and all. 'It had a special kind of beauty of untouched woods'. The writer is still telling the reader that the garden is like a 'primeval forest'.
When Robert Quick comes in from work he is eager to see his daughters. He shouts 'Hullo' to them both expecting a reply, which only Kate answers. He was disappointed at the children because at one time when they were younger they adored him. When he came home from work sometimes he would meet the girls and drive them home. They would sometimes 'play about' and hide behind the hedges. So from the playful banter of earlier years and to no reply now I feel that he is disappointed and doesn't know where there affection has gone from them. He doesn't realise that they are growing up. When he doesn't he urges the conversation to go further and asks another question desperately trying to get their attention. He gives more attention to jenny as he continued the conversation with her. When describing the two girls he adds more detail about jenny. He says 'Jenny had moods of passionate devotion...she was going to be an exciting woman, strong in her feeling, intelligent, reflective.' He doesn't mention anything about Kate's moods, which suggests that he feels more for Jenny than Kate. Although he shows a little attention here, the writer comments that 'Quick never asked for affection from his girls' which makes me wonder whether his views changed when the affection was lost. The excuses he makes for their behaviour is that they are growing up. He says 'they had suddenly receded from him into a world of their own' basically saying that they are growing up. He confirms this at the end of the story by reviewing Jenny's behaviour and saying 'She's growing up - and so am I'. I don't think that there is any evidence that Robert Quick is a lazy man because he works. This becomes clear to the readers in the first paragraphs when Mr quick comes home from a 'business trip'.
I think that he thought if his children thought strongly about something that they should stick by their guns and go with how they feel. 'It seemed to him that both children, usually so gentle, so affectionate, had gone completely mad and vindictive'. I think that because Robert doesn't spend much time with his children that he hasn't realised the changes that his daughters have been going through when he is not there that is why he is so surprised at how he thinks they have suddenly changed. He is deluded about what the children are like which causes him to worry about why they have changed so abruptly. 'It seemed to him that... they had suddenly receded from him into a world of their own in which he had no standing...' This sentence tells me that Robert Quick has realised that his little daughters are no longer little. That they are growing up and living in the real world and that there attitudes and feelings are changing because they realise more about life. Towards the end of the story Mr quick feels uncomfortable around his daughters because they have suddenly changed from being vicious towards him to caring and looking after him when he is hurt. He is uncomfortable around Jenny when she comes back to Robert to check on his cut. He doesn't understand why she is being nice all of a sudden when before her mother arrived she was intent on hurting him. After Jenny and Kate where 'attacking' their father, Mr Quick wanted to get away from them and to get Mrs Quick. He tries to make excuses and tells the children that 'It's alright'. He feels puzzled towards jenny's behaviour because he doesn't understand why Jenny is acting like this. Why one minute she is cruel and vindictive and the next she is concerned about her father. 'What was the game, medical, maternal? Was she going to laugh?' He then realises that she is just growing up. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alexandra Garcia 16/09/05
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