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This story deals with a parent's relationship with her daughter - Choose one other story from the anthology which also deals with emotional relationships - Look at how the author presents the relationships.

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Introduction

This story deals with a parent's relationship with her daughter. Choose one other story from the anthology which also deals with emotional relationships. Look at how the author presents the relationships and whether the relationships are similar or different. Look at the structure of the stories and make a comparison of how the authors present their stories. I have chosen to examine 'Your Shoes' by Michele Roberts and 'Chemistry' by Graham Swift. Both examine dysfunctional relationships in the family in their short stories. They present their relationships in different ways, each emphasising certain points about the relationship that they consider to be the most important. Each uses their own structure to support the way they view these relationships. In Your Shoes, Michele Roberts presents many different difficulties in the relationship between the mother and the daughter. One of these is a failure to communicate: the mother's words, echoing across the lines of, "You're not here any longer so how can I speak to you?" and, "I don't know your address," show the lack of communication between them. The symbolism of 'reaching out to someone' is starkly contrasted here with the imagery of the mother. ...read more.

Middle

The relationship between the father and the daughter is not much mentioned. The speaker says that the father 'adores [her]', and is 'protective' of his daughter. However, he is said to be unable to 'stand rudeness' from anybody, including the daughter. The relationship between mother and father seems to be solid, considering Michele uses 'we' so many times, and supports her husband's behaviour. Yet, she 'locked the bedroom door so he can't get in.' All of the relationships seem to be fraught with emotions and anxieties. The structure of the story is in the style of an interior monologue, with the author speaking to herself. Actually in the story the author is writing a letter to her daughter. This, being a personal letter, is likely to be more open in terms of the author's feelings and emotions. The text seems to flow freely, one point leading on to the next in a 'stream of consciousness'. This permits an open flood of emotions, opinions and anxieties, which helps enrich the text. However, it does lead to quite biased views. Chemistry can be usefully compared and contrasted to Your Shoes with respect to relationships and structural format. ...read more.

Conclusion

The shed here could represent the grandfather's inner self. The author himself describes it as 'somewhere where Grandfather went to be alone, undisturbed'. Another symbol is that of the launch. It symbolises the relationship between the grandfather and the author. Even though that relationship is 'laboured', the course was 'steady'. It is as if the Grandfather is 'pulling us towards him on some invisible cord'. The structure of the story is less streamlined than Your Shoes, containing time shifts and flashbacks. An episodic structure is retained. Like Your Shoes, it is dictated from a first person view, but unlike it, the boy here is looking back on the events, giving an added value of hindsight. The creditability, therefore, can be much greater, but the emotions deadened. In conclusion, both authors use different styles to present their stories. Michele Roberts uses intense relationships and a interior monologue to portray her story, whereas Chemistry relies more on symbols and hindsight. The direct relationship statuses in Your Shoes are different to the more ambiguous, tense relationships in Chemistry. I believe Michele Roberts' style is better as it really allows the full envelope of the relationship to be explored in great depth, with purposeful emotions. Arka Pal 10E ...read more.

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