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Annie's Story

In: Novels

Submitted By Cecilie19
Words 1117
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Annie’s Story deals with things we find familiar in our daily life. Surely, there are many different outlooks on life. Should we take risks in life, which might be dangerous and challenging, or should we choose the more boring life, which might be able to help other to be safe. The story deals with these kinds of problems and characterizes the modern society we live in. We should ask ourselves – what do we prefer and prioritizes and what do we have to omit? There are obviously many perspectives.

The story takes place in the country. It’s a farming environment: “vegetable garden” and “field with horses”. It’s far away from the city and it is described as a quiet and amicably place to live: "No one to disturb out here!" (p. 2 ll. 27). The setting also substantiates Annie’s feelings: “We didn't pick honeysuckle and red campion, Magda and her foal were not at the five-bar gate, and I didn't even notice the little moss hummock where we sat to talk” (p. 3 ll. 72-75). Here we can tell that something is bothering Annie. She is very upset.

Annie’s father, Roger, who is a contributor on a magazine, always sits in his study room and works. He doesn’t seem to be much together with his family. This is a familiar sign of the modern society, where people don’t have much spare time due to work. Also, he likes to do his things in routines: “"Father doesn't like change” (p. 2 ll. 23), and he likes having his meals on time. He knows what he wants, and he’s conscious about his values and norms. Clearly, he is the boss at home and he is the one who decides everything: “"Father wouldn't allow that, would he, Mother?" Annie’s mother takes care of all household chores. Annie describes the mother as: “I think that if there's an opposite to being a researcher, Mother is that.” (p. 1 ll. 5). When the mother is at home she tries hiding herself from her husband. She is always all other places than in the house. This shows that she doesn’t have an interest being with Roger. Roger thinks in the same way because he is always in his room working. The parents don’t seem to talk very much together and they don’t seem to have much in common. Annie explains that the father is a researcher on a magazine but her mother is very different. This sentence indicates that they don’t fit together. The mother isn’t happy when she’s at home with Roger: “Mother's face looked sort of tight, and her eyes empty. She'd scraped her hair back and fastened it with a rubber band.” (p. 2 ll. 12-13). But when she’s together with Uncle Hugo she can be more relaxed and enjoys life: “Mother had loosened her hair. It fell over her face and on to her shoulders. She looked like a girl. Her eyes danced and her cheeks became rosy.” (p. 3 ll. 40-41). She acts like a girl who is in love. However, this symbolism shows that she’s different when she’s together with respectively Roger and Uncle Hugo. She doesn’t want to be “just a woman” – she will be much more than that, and probably she can be that with Uncle Hugo. The mother’s outlook on life is also characterizing in the modern society. We start asking questions of those choices we have chosen earlier in life. We start to become unsecure about how we want to live our life. Also, Annie enjoys being at Uncle Hugo’s. She likes that there are no rules and she is allowed to do everything. She likes that his cottage “looks just like a small head making a dent in a large pillow.” (p. 2 ll. 28-29). Especially, she is glad for playing with his model theatre. Annie likes the imagination world she steps into, where she forgets the reality outside. She becomes safe and secure. Annie, who is the one telling the story, describes the time with Uncle Hugo with positive adjectives as lovely and freshly. When they are at home with Roger she uses negative adjectives as cross, crumbling and dead. When Annie finds out that’s something is very wrong, she starts getting nervous and is afraid of being separated with her mom: “The whole way home, I clung to Mother.” (p. 3 ll. 73). She starts to be unsecure again. Annie is probably a little girl about 8 years old and she needs – like every other person in the modern society - confirmation and love. She feels safe when she’s at Uncle Hugo’s but right after they have left, she is afraid: “Inside me I felt cold and empty” (p. 4 ll. 91).

There are many different themes in the text but the main themes are problems in the modern family. From the narrators/Annie’s perspective, protection and love are very important themes. From the mothers point of view I believe the themes are about unfaithfulness and the values in life. From Roger’s point of view the theme is about the way of living. The father has chosen a life with focus on his work. He isn’t involved in Annie’s life and that’s the way he has chosen to live. The mother needs to figure out what to do. Should she be with Roger, who she doesn’t like anymore or should she choose Uncle Hugo she love and their upcoming baby. It might be a very hard choice. The mother makes the ego-central choice by leaving the family though she knows, how Annie feels about it: “"You'll break her heart!" (p. 4 ll. 99). Also, she knows that she’s leaving Annie alone with Roger who isn’t very good with children. Obviously she chooses the love rather than the sanity.
When the mother leaves Annie, Annie feels abandoned. Annie defiantly misses attention in life – that’s why she’s so glad when Miss Campbell gives her a red star for her composition. Miss Campbell gives Annie this attention and confirmation, which Annie desperately needs.
It’s difficult to live in the modern society. Annie’s parents aren’t happy together and their daily life is in routines. The mother takes the chance and thereby leaves Annie and Roger. This affects especially Annie, who needs to know if she’s good enough. The story ends well because Annie gets confirmed that she actually is an intelligent little girl.

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