The Relationships of In The Gloaming
Watching a loved one die is one of the most difficult events a person can experience in life. Some people come to terms with the death of their loved one, reconcile their differences, and their death brings acceptance and closure. For others, a family member’s death leaves them with a sense of regret and guilt. Alice Elliott Dark’s short story “In The Gloaming” shows examples of how people react and cope with the death of a loved one. The different ways Janet and Martin handle Laird’s illness and death are respective of their relationships with him. Martin has little or no relationship with his son. He chooses to ignore Laird entirely and disregard his illness. Janet, on the other hand, chooses to reestablish a connection with Laird. They bond over their nightly talks and build a strong relationship. When Laird passes away, Janet becomes the strong one and Martin is left feeling regretful, wondering what his son was really like. The bond between a parent and child can be the strongest relationship in a person’s life. As Janet ponders, “Friends had the option of cutting her off, and Martin could always ask for a divorce, whereas Laird was a captive audience.” Unlike any other relationship, the connection that can be established between a parent and child is strong, fulfilling, and vitally important to a person’s happiness. In the short story “In The Gloaming”, Alice Elliott Dark shows how the relationships Janet and Martin have with Laird determine how they handle and cope with his illness and death.
Martin’s continued absence and denial during Laird’s illness and death leaves him with overwhelming guilt from his lack of a relationship with Laird and causes him to be curious about his son’s life. Martin is described several times throughout the story as being obsessed with his work. Janet has continually made excuses for his absences, telling Laird, “ He had a phone call to make”. Laird sees through the...
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