Compare Two Short Stories Where The Characters Face Difficult

1358 words - 5 pages

Compare two short stories where the characters face difficult

We are comparing the stories ‘Flight’ by Doris Lessing and ‘Your
shoes’ by Michele Roberts. They both deal with the issue of daughters
leaving home and how it affects the whole family. In ‘Flight’, the
granddad is affected most severely but in ‘Your Shoes’, it is the
mother. ‘Your Shoes’ is written in a first person narrative from the
mother’s perspective. ‘Flight’ is written in the third person. The
main theme of the stories is growing up and letting go/ moving on.

In ‘Fight’ the granddad is overprotective of the granddaughter and she
craves freedom from him and the atmosphere of the house she has grown
up in. Her granddad makes her feel that getting married and moving
away is wrong, ‘She’ll marry him next, I’m telling you; she’ll be
marrying him next!’. In ‘Your Shoes’ there is a similar theme of over
protectiveness and inability of the guardian to let go. However, in
‘Your Shoes’ the daughter actually runs away from the mother, whereas
in ‘Flight’ the granddad simply feels that she is running away.

The two stories conclude in very different ways. In ‘Flight’ the
granddad symbolises that he is finally ready to let go of his
granddaughter by releasing, if only for a short while, the pigeon that
has symbolised her throughout the whole story. In ‘Your Shoes’ it
contrasts this by the mother becoming increasingly unstable as the
story progresses and ending with her seeming to have a mental

In ‘Flight’ the characters deal with the difficulties very differently
than in ‘Your Shoes’. The granddad in ‘Flight’ tries to lock his
granddaughter away from the world and convince himself he is doing it
for her own good. The granddaughter rebels from this by seeing the
‘red handed, red throated, violent bodied youth’ that her granddad
hates. This description of the youth is from the granddad’s
perspective so could easily be an exaggeration of the truth. At the
end of the story, however, the granddaughter begins to cry, ‘…tears
run shivering off her face …’ which shows that she is remorseful that
she neglected her granddad in favour of the youth.

In ‘Your Shoes’ the mother deals with her daughter leaving home by
trying to lock herself away from the world rather than her daughter,
but she describes how when her daughter was there she was
overprotective, although she didn’t see herself that way. She shows
this by her treatment of the shoes that symbolise her daughter
throughout the story, ‘I locked the wardrobe on those rebellious
shoes.’ The mother’s monologue is the entire story, and throughout it
she becomes increasingly nervous and irrational. At the very end she
goes into what seems to be a mental breakdown, ‘I knew you’d come
back, I knew you’d come back to me’, although the daughter has not
come home.

In ‘Flight’, I think the author is trying to say that if you hold
something too tight then they will try and rebel...

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