Authors of short stories often employ a variety of narrative techniques in order to elicit and shape the reader's response In the short story, "Goodbye Jenny" by Penelope Wallace it focuses on relationships among the members of a household. Various techniques are used to promote certain ways of thinking to each character. Through the use of point of view, characterisation and connotated language we are invited to see the insecurity of Ian, infidelity of the Mother and somewhat caring Father
The shifting first person point-of-view Wallace uses gives the readers the opportunity to understand the character and give the audience a glimpse at the character’s innermost thoughts and feelings. We see Ian as a character very unhappy and insecure about himself. He constantly questions and moans "Why can't it always be the holidays?" because he dreads school and gets bullied, yet no one in his family understands. Ian looks up to his Father and wishes he could "do something to make him proud". We are encouraged to feel sympathy towards Ian since he does try at school yet no one understands what is he going through and his Mother just calls him "a dull child"
Characterisation of the Mother through her actions, speech and thoughts have lead the audience see her as an unfaithful, careless and somewhat self-fish person. We learn that her daughter, Mary was an accident and she was unsure whether it belonged to her husband John or the affair she is having with Bruce, who she describes "witty and wonderful". The Mother does not show any signs of guilt or being ashamed for her disloyalty. In fact she was quite proud that Mary could be "bound to go on the stage, with an actress for a mother and an actor for a father", which obviously was not referring to her husband. She doesn’t seem to care about Ian's results and talk to the housemaster because she will "miss my train". Her actions and thoughts creates a sense of dislike that she is insincere and not being a caring,...
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