The Dress, Short Story

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The Dress
Julia Darling, short story, 2006

A characterization of the mother:
The mother is a 40-year old divorced woman who works as a bereavement counselor and living with her two daughters. She turns 40 years in the story . We never get to know the mother’s name, and that’s why she in the text is referred as “mother”. During the dinner as the argument between the girls takes place, she is very understanding and caring towards the girls, but she got her own problems. She is not happy with her job. She wants to relax, feel loved and get attention at her birthday celebration. That makes it harder for her to take part in the sibling’s argument, and she does not really care, this feeling is shown when she thinks: “She wanted the meal to be over....” She might be rich, because she takes the daughters to a restaurant, which is modern

The way the story is structured:
The story is written in third-person omniscient At the start of the story the narrator uses Rachel’s point of view. When they go to the restaurant it changes to the mother’s point of view. In the end we don’t have a specific point of view, but follows the argument watching from the outside. So we get the story from more people. The story starts that Rachel realizes that her dress is gone – therefore the text is started in medias res. She quickly suspects her sister of steeling it, and looks after the dress in Flora’s room. Later in the story there is a parallel course, where Flora tells what she is during with the dress, while Rachel is looking for it at home. The story is chronological from there. This leads to a big argument between the sisters and they have to involve their mother.

The relationship between Rachel and Flora:
Rachel and Flora’s relationship is characterized by jealousy. Flora fights for the attention of the mother and the feeling of being submissive to Rachel and living in the shadow of her sister, since the mother tends to take Rachel’s side. Rachel is the neat one with...
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