Mount Pleasant

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Mount Pleasant - Essay

“Mount Pleasant” by Marie-Louise Buxton is a short story published in 2006 about a young girl named Elisabeth. She and her family have just moved into a big house, Mount Pleasant, and the story follows their first time there. A whole lot of interpretation and understanding of the story is left to the reader. “Mount Pleasant” is narrated through Elisabeth, who is about 7 years old, and the text is constructed true to the narrator’s age. This causes a confusing composition led by the intuitive thoughts of a child and an uncertainty of fact and fiction, purpose and coincidence. Still the text is thorough and leaves an impression of intelligence. The language supports this contrast. The text’s enhancement of the childish southern American slang (baby-like nicknames such as Sudsy and Babby and the use of apostrophes in words as freezin’ and ‘Lisabeth), the metaphors and the clear colloquial language are all very child-like features. But there are also hypotaxis, long and elegantly written sentences and many adjectives, making good and often intelligent writing. The plot is not at all linear it jumps around in time and surroundings, making the story lack a clear focus and leaving it up to the individual to decide what the theme and core of the story is. “Mount Pleasant” starts in medias res with Elisabeth being in the attic of the new house. She knows she is not allowed to be there, but with her curiosity, mixed with a childs general lack of respect for authority, she ends up there anyway. Elisabeth finds an old photograph of a young boy in a cabinet in the attic, bringing it with her when she returns to the ground floor. The mother does not approve of the picture, but the father suggests it is a picture of somebody who lived there before them and puts it on the mantelpiece next to pictures of the family. The rest of the text, the reader is presented to the everyday life of Elisabeth and her sister, Lena; both the idyllic play and the walks...
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