The Dress - by Julia Darling

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The Dress - by Julia Darling
The dress is a short story written by the British writer Julia Darling in 2006. The story starts in a Medias res and deals with the relationship between the two sisters Flora and Rachel and their parents. An important dress is the key point of the dispute in the family, which ends up having serious consequences for the future of the family. I will in the following part analyze and interpret the story by giving a characterization of the mother and the relationship between the two sisters. In continuation of this I will mention the theme(s) and the symbolism of the novel.

During the novel the mother is celebrating her birthday. She is divorced from her previous husband, whom we don’t really hear about. She works as a bereavement counselor and lives with her two daughters in a presumably fine and rich neighborhood, where they can afford drinking cocktails and visiting expensive restaurants. She consider to change her job as counselor and work with jewellery instead while she believes that her job as a bereavement counselor is too boring. It is difficult for the mother to deal with the problems between the sisters. She isn’t capable of cutting things short opposite the sisters and this has obviously had an effect on the sisters, especially on Flora. She tends to take Rachel’s side, because she is the most well-behaved of the sisters while Flora is a bit more narrow minded person who’s trying to get her mother’s attention.

The two sisters have very different personalities. Flora is a bit messy while Rachel on the other hand cannot stand mess. They are in many ways completely different. Flora is probably the little sister and looks up to Rachel. Flora wants to look like her sister and that’s why she steals her dress. The relationship between the sisters during the novel is characterized by arguments and jealousy. They are both very self-centered and therefore they fight in order to attract attention from their mother, so they can...
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