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Discuss the presentation and importance of Grandma Chance in the novel 'Wise Children'

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Introduction

Discuss the presentation and importance of Grandma Chance in the novel 'Wise Children' In the novel, Grandma Chance is no blood relation to Nora and Dora. Grandma Chance brought them up after their mother, kitty died. 'We always called her 'grandma' and 'Chance' became our handle', so they share her surname. Dora tells us she was called Mrs. Chance, but was never married. There is no explanation for this, which builds up a mystery about the character and makes the reader want to find out more about her. 'She always put on so Rachel powder'. This description of her is significant to Dora and Nora's characters as they always 'put on our faces before we came down to breakfast'. Angela Carter's idea to make Dora and Nora like Grandma is effective because the reader feels they have grown up like their mother figure. ...read more.

Middle

being repeated several times throughout the novel. This can also be reflected with the end of the book when Dora and Nora are given Gareth's babies, who will be brought up in a similar way they were. They sing them songs, like Grandma did. I think Carter has included this in the book as it reassures the readers that the children will be looked after in the same way Grandma looked after the girls. It also has hope that dancing and singing will continue through generations. 'Mrs. Chance was often stingy with the truth but never lied'. In some ways Carter has connected Dora's character with Grandma as she doesn't lie, but admits to readers that her memory is fallible. She often says lines like, 'I have a memory, though I know it cannot be a true one' or, 'I misremember. ...read more.

Conclusion

Peregrine states, 'I've not got concrete evidence. But sometimes I wonder about your Grandma'. These assumptions made by Perry make Dora question it, 'which mother? Pretty kitty? Grandma?' This leaves the reader curious, but the truth will never be known. The character of grandma carries many of the themes in 'wise children'. She carries the theme of family. Although not their real mother, grandma cares for Nora and Dora as if they were her own. She also carries the glamour of which Dora and Nora have carried on with their makeup and clothes. She sang to Dora and Nora, which is what they continued later in life. She is a major part in Nora and Dora's life and therefore is a key character in the novel. Her character is suspect with a hint of mystery. Carter has done this to let the reader imagine what she is like rather than being told, which is effective. Vicky Canavan ...read more.

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