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The Dress

In: English and Literature

Submitted By hejblatch
Words 1146
Pages 5
“What is a disordered family? The short story, “The dress” of Julia Darling 2006, illustrates exactly that. It tells the story of the relationship between two sisters and their mother, and the consequences of their poor communication skills and repressed frustrations.
In the following analysis and interpretation, I will unravel the tangled threads of the complicated affair, by giving a characterization of the mother and revealing the relationship between the sisters. In addition to this, I will touch on the symbolism, structure and the themes of the short story.

The plot begins at home, when Rachel discovers that her sister has stolen her new silk dress. For the evening the family have planned to eat at a modern restaurant, and for the occasion Rachel, the older sister, has bought a beautiful perfect blue silk dress. Flora finds the dress, when she is home alone and finds it impossible to resist the urge to try it on. Suddenly she finds herself strolling down the street, feeling elite and confident all because of the dress; qualities she sees in her sister, but fails to see in herself. By accident she ruins the dress, and in desperation and fear she buries it outside the house in the garden. When they later meet up at the restaurant, Rachel is furious with her sister making an uncomfortable mood at the table.
The mother, as the bereavement counselor and low self-confidence woman she is, tries to avoid the fight by babbling on about unimportant stuff like, what is on the menu, quote p. 2 of 5, 57-58:
” The mother sat between them, nibbling olives, talking incessantly, aware of the hollow silence between them”. If she could change the circumstances, she would rather have gone to the cinema, where there is no need to talk to each other; quote p. 3 of 5, 89-90:
The mother indeed lacks self-esteem and the ability to face conflicts. The way the mother is...

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