Title: The Geranium
Text type: Short story
Author: Patricia Grace
This short story, 'The Geranium', by Patricia Grace and published 1993, is a perfect example of Battered woman syndrome and the mental effects it has on a person in this case Marney.
In the geranium, the main character, Marney is a stay at home mother. She cleans intensely all day and seems rather dull. She does not leave the house even when one of the girls tells her to "come for a stretch." You know she is hesitant and you can feel that there is something stopping her from leaving. There seems to be a routine of non-stop cleaning, because when her friends, Sandra and Joe, come over this doesn't stop her from making sure things are clean, she even sets down paper to stop the floor getting dirty again. Her life is so boring that the highlight of her week is the arrival of the "paper that came on a Wednesday." The paper is a widow to the outside world that she is no longer able to access. Although the paper shows her all kinds of things she could do and clubs she could enter, she can’t because of a mental block built up by the continuous abuse from Bob. The conflict becomes more clear with the return of Bob her husband. When Bob comes home he immediately starts demands what she has been doing all day. He asks questions about whether she’s been digging and cleaning and who’s been over. He is so controlling that he has to know ever little detail to make sure he does not “find out different.” When he finds out about “The Geranium” he tells her to “chuck that thing out.” This is a clear demonstration of his control, because Marney throws it away without question even though earlier we see that she really wanted it. These demonstrations of Bob’s dominance show us the reason for Marney’s resistance to leave for the shops earlier and why she finds the housework so important. The conflict is resolved when Marney throws out the Geranium at Bob’s command. This part of the...