“The Rages of Mrs. Torrens” is a prime example of female empowerment in a small town. This story shows the flair and eccentricity of a strong woman who has a simple chemical imbalance that is later corrected by medication. The author shows a conflict between the townspeople of Tantello and Mrs. Torrens, as well as powerful symbolism in the form of flora, and the use of the colour red. “Go home you little parlingtons and stop staring!” She shouts to the children who have gathered at the bridge to watch the Torrens peculiar picnic by the waterfall at Tantello Creek. The children reply “Only mad people make up words,” before skulking their way home, most likely to share their gossip with their parents.
Mrs. Torrens is described as a woman who frequently speaks her mind, has no regard for what the townspeople think of her, and drives a car in a time when few women held a drivers license. She stunned workmen when she flew her Ford over a partially finished bridge with her five children shrieking “Whee-eee-eee!”They play along with her condition by covering her eyes with her hair and laughing “Mumma can't drive the car properly if you do that” which later spreads around the town. Mrs. Torrens shows her flamboyant personality and love for her husband when she appears at the mill dressed in black, with geraniums on her scarf and hat. She climbs up on the fence so that everyone must look up to her. “What have you done to my mannikan?... My beautiful, beautiful mannikan,” she says as she walks back and forth on the fence top. She is not satisfied with the explanation given about the accident and swings a piece of lumber at the first interruption, a kettle and cups. This showed her first and last sign of physical aggression. Without her behaviour and subsequent moving, the family may have been as doomed as the town was.... [continues]
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