Analysis and interpretation
Sometimes, it can be very difficult to deal with other people’s expectations of who you should be, and what you should do with your life. Yet, something even more challenging is dealing with one’s own expectations of who you want to be. This is the challenge the young brother faces in the short story “Abduc-tion” by Shelagh Delaney.
In this short story we hear the tragic account of how an older sister in her attempts to give her younger brother a careless life, slowly drives him away from everything he holds dear in life. At first, when she takes her brother with her to live in London, his future seems bright. He gets an education, a good job and all the money he needs and more from his sister Ann. Yet, when the brother falls in love and tries to break with the protective environment Ann continuously strives to keep him in, he is tragically unsuccessful and as a re-sult looses his desire to live.
The story is told through a first person narrator. This is seen at the beginning of the text where he/she introduces us to her/his view on the events leading up to the young brother’s death: “I contemplated other means of hu-miliating her [Ann] and exposing her for what she was – a killer”(9-10). From this quote, one can see that the narrator has very strong emotions towards the brother, which makes me believe that he/she could be one of his other siblings: “He’d been born late in our parent’s marriage”(35). This choice of narrative results in us having a restricted point of view of the events. In the narrator’s point of view Ann “kidnapped her sixteen-year-old brother”(34) and thus the whole story is described as ”abduction” as the title refers to. This results in us sympathizing with the narrator’s feelings for and depiction of the other characters. This is best emphasized through the portrayal of Ann.
There is no doubt that the narrator has a very negative attitude towards Ann. She is...