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"The Son's Veto" and "Samphire"How are the two women presented in the two stories? What is your response to them?

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English Literature Coursework - "The Son's Veto" and "Samphire" How are the two women presented in the two stories? What is your response to them? The two short stories, 'The Son's Veto' and 'Samphire' both have much in common, despite the differences of each individual tale. The comparison lies between the two women, both existing as the key characters of their stories. Though the stories illustrate different endings, the inner profundity proves otherwise. Both women could be described as feeble, delicate and self-doubting in both mental and physical ways, highlighting their similar situations. When contrasting the two women, it is easier to illustrate the resemblances they share with one another by comparing them directly. Both women are looked down on by men and seen as the weaker sex, and yet have to lean on them to subsist. They are both presented as the victims of their stories, and have the readers sympathising with strong support throughout. In 'Samphire', Molly, a twentieth century woman, is dominated by her overpowering husband and his requests, 'Lacy was her lord and master.' I feel great sympathy towards Molly that this man whom she feels such little affection towards, should control her life so immensely. Though joined by name, their spirits are conflicting and they lack any kind of loving relationship. The affiliation between them is like that between a tolerating daughter and the controlling father, "wagging his finger to show that he was not quite earnest." He treats her as if she were a child, "Molly it is samphire. I said it was samphire didn't I?" The relationship also resembles that of a teacher and his pupil, with Molly as this imprudent student and her husband as this "intellectual educator", " He was pleased with her for having looked over, and said she was coming along very well." He repeats himself as though she has difficulties in understanding, and speaks in an "emphasised" voice to illustrate the believed trouble she has in communication. ...read more.


She seems eager to please him, "she said she would like to see the samphire again," showing that though the feelings are not reciprocated, she does feel some respect for her husband, and possibly hopes that she can remodel her husband to be how she'd like, and that they can regenerate the normal husband and wife correlation. It is irritating however that she should be so blind, and that she doesn't stick up for herself. Her low-self esteem is evident, making me feel even more remorseful towards her. Sophy also finds it hard to relate to her son, who is at boarding school most of the year anyway. I can comprehend the pain involved with the realisation that you and your child have nothing in common. She must feel very hurt when her son makes it so evident that he cruelly sees his mother as an embarrassment, "His painful lot as a gentleman to blush for," and a nuisance to himself, "be an encumbrance to him." He looks down on her and considers himself as "akin", or part of another higher and better class. The relationship between Sophy and her son is a very aloof, and yet like Molly, it is Sophy who persists in order to improve the relationship, she makes compromises and is willing to do what she has to do in order for her son to be satisfied. It is very commendable of her to correct any "deficiencies" her son finds with her in order to live serenely. Again however it makes me pity Sophy that she should put so much effort into what should be an even relationship and yet gets nothing in return. "Affectionate" is a good word to describe Sophy's character, as she proves the sincerity of this word through love and fondness shown towards her son and the dependability he can hold on her. Both women are portrayed as very obedient to their "dominant" males. ...read more.


Your seconds also feel like minutes as you read on for the outcome, "Motionless in equilibrium for one timeless space." Nevertheless, I think Molly stayed admirably composed after her failure, "She turned and began to walk down the path," she was in command for the time being as her husband tries to rise above his shock, "a very old terribly frightened comforting-itself child." But though it appears her husband may have some compassion towards her after her unruly performance, she neither feels regret nor content, instead she feels despair that she didn't have the strength to give the final push, "She turned her dying face to the ground." Inside she feels nothing, metaphorically she is dead. In the Son's Veto, there is also a tragic ending to the tale. It deeply upsets me to discover the ending of Sophy is an empty death. She ages dramatically in spirit and emotion, "she seldom or never left the house," proving she was dejected and abandoned. It's such a wretched and undeserving end for such a person, and makes a fine competitor against the samphire as to which shows the most heart-rending and pitiful finish to a compassionate story. In conclusion, for both women I feel great sympathy and understanding towards them both. Molly perhaps slightly more so because she never escaped the trauma, and so continues to live in her melancholic state. Though she may have boosted her position higher slightly by acting so implausibly, it is doubtful that this sudden change of beneficial attitude her husband is showing towards her will continue for long. Sophy I feel great sorrow towards from knowing of what a sad empty life she has lived. The wrong decision of marrying the Reverend instead of Sam left her unhappy for the rest of her life. They are both so solitary. Have great knowledge of the importance of a companion, allowing me to feel immense compassion towards the women that they don't have an associate to entrust in. They have to face their miserable lives unaided with no one to turn to for comfort. ...read more.

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