Minimum of Two reveals that those who confront their problems deal more successfully with them. Discuss
By Rachel Lynch
As readers, we learn over the course of the short stories found in Minimum of Two that those who confront their problems are almost always able to move forward while the character that don’t remain stuck in the past. Winton’s characters often struggle with overcoming struggles found in everyday life, and how they handle these problems is central to Minimum of Two. In ‘Gravity’, Jerra lashes out at those close to him in response to the anniversary of his father’s death, while the girl in ‘The Water was Dark and it went Forever Down’ shuts off her emotions in order to escape the harshness of her family life. In ‘Minimum of Two’, Madigan ostensibly ends up far worse for having confronted his wife’s rapists and ‘More’ Rachel seems better off for having avoided confrontation; however further examination of these stories will reveal that this is not the case.
Many of the characters in Minimum of Two are unable or unwilling to confront their emotions, and suffer as a result. We see this clearly in ‘Gravity’, as Jerra struggles with his own apathy and self pity on the anniversary of his father’s death; as shown when Jerra wonders “how the hell could anything matter?” Jerra’s inability to face his father’s death and the adult responsibility he feels as a result causes him to lash out at both his wife and his friend. The loss of his father makes him feel as if “there was nothing for [him] to fall against”. As a result, he becomes almost self-destructive, lashing out at those around him. However as the story progresses, he manages to confront his fear and accept his responsibilities despite the loss of the perceived “safety net” that his father represented to him. Suddenly Jerra is able to compose music again, “something fresh which made his heart tic”, and he thinks of what he’ll do in the morning. Winton uses Jerra’s ability to compose music...
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