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In: English and Literature

Submitted By WillyCrystal
Words 763
Pages 4
Doris Lessing
Text 2

The grandfather has some issues with being abandoned. He feels that the youngest granddaughter is still too young to be married; therefore he is not willing to let go of her. His attitude is very overprotective and grumpy, but deep down inside it hurts him to see her growing up.
He wants her to stay carefree, teasing and giggling as a child, not to grow up and become an adult. The fact we do not hear anything about his wife, tells us somehow she is gone. All he has left is his daughter and his granddaughter. His daughter got married to a man when she was seventeen years old. The other three granddaughters also got married and moved away. This only makes him madder – because he does not want to loose the last granddaughter, Alice. He knows after Alice gets married, nothing will ever be the same again. He thinks she is far too young to get married and just wants her to stay. Miserably and angrily he shouts at her, asking her old-fashioned phrases stating his objection to her future marriage, and eventually threatening to tell her mother when she disobeys him. Possessiveness and selfishness have blinded him.
The grandfather’s anger towards Alice is because she is leaving him for another man, and the anger towards his daughter Lucy is because she gives Alice permission to leave.

The old man who is also the main character, lives in a house by the railroad with his daughter and granddaughter. He keeps birds in his house. The birds are very symbolic in the story. In the beginning of the story, he stands outside his house, holding his favourite bird and is ready to let it go, until he sees Alice. That’s when he changes his mind and catches the birds again, and locks it in a cage.
We know he struggles with loneliness because his daughter and three of granddaughters have left home, and probably the death of his wife.
He does...

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