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Jane

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Submitted By rasmushawk
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Mount Pleasant is a short story about a girl named Elizabeth and her little sister Lena, whose parents are completely different. It was written by Marie-Louise Buxton and published in 2005. The story addresses themes such as dysfunction in the family and the effects of very physical disciplining on children. The story is a present tense first person narrative, and the language and lack of rational sorting of information very much resembles the style of a child at about age 6 or 7.

As you have probably experienced, children have a tendency to begin the telling of a story at random. In “Mount Pleasant” we also see this phenomenon since its plot starts in medias res, “Mammy’ll take to me with a wooden spoon if she catches me up in the attic. But “Be off and play,” Daddy said, “out from under us feet.” We see no clear beginning; no introduction to the setting of the story or to the circumstances of its plot. Only the fact that “Mammy” will hit her kid with a wooden spoon if the kid plays in the attic. Once could say though, that the story in fact does not start in medias res: Despite the story starting out of nothing, we mustn’t overlook the introduction to two of the story’s main characters and the introduction to their most important features regarding our narrators telling of the story: How they act towards their kids.

The mother or “Mammy” has a very offensive approach to Elizabeth and Lena. Throughout the entire story she never does anything good for her children. Her way of parenting is extremely aggressive and also violent, since she has no problem with physically punishing her kids. She lies to her children, and whenever Elizabeth and Lena want to play she is super-strict with deciding the circumstances under which the two girls can have fun. In conclusion, “Mammy” is a terrible mother, who has most likely been treated badly as a child by her own up-bringers, and the only thing keeping her from totally destroying the childhood of her own kids, is the fact that her husband and father of her kids is a nice man, who has a much more realistic and humane view of the relationship between parent and child. Even though Elizabeth and Lena’s father (“Daddy”) is friendly towards his two girls, he has a few skeletons in his closet, “(…) after he’s been to the betting shop Fridays, and has won on the dogs or the horses or whatever it is he’s betting on that week”. Apparently “Daddy” is a gambler. One can only imagine the stress and tension he has...

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