The Metaphor” Character Analysis

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  • Topic: Fence, Picket fence, Chair
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  • Published : February 27, 2011
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Budge Wilson’s “The Metaphor” is a story about extremes. The first is a flamboyant, overly enthusiastic teacher named Miss Hancock. The second is our protagonist’s mother, a cold, heartless perfectionist who demonstrates cleanliness and order, rather than love and affection.

The character that I have chosen to describe is the mother, who is unnamed in this story. Her daughter, Charlotte, portrays her very well in her metaphor, in which she depicts her mother as “a flawless, modern building” where “computers (and) typewriters… are buzzing and clicking away”. She also writes, as a final sentence, “There are no comfortable chairs in the lobby”. Charlotte’s metaphor represents her mother as an uptight entrepreneur that would by no means relax in a cozy chair when important business was to be done.

The mother is an emotionless robot, save for the fact that she demonstrates a strong dislike for flashiness and drama, qualities that Miss Hancock flaunts with pride. She doesn’t hesitate to call Miss Hancock brassy and overdone, casting aside any concern for Charlotte’s feelings about the seventh-grade teacher.

In another metaphor about her mother, Charlotte says that she is “a white picket fence [that] stands in a field of weeds [and] is bounded on its other sides by thorny bushes and barbed wire”. In this passage, Charlotte further unveils her harsh opinion of her mother. She believes that, while she may appear to be the perfect mother and wife, she is really a bitter broad with a holier-than-thou persona.

While it may seem that the mother has it all and more, she is sorely lacking the one thing that is genuinely true: love. Rather than putting neatness and organization to the side in order to fully love and appreciate her daughter and her feelings, she has chosen to sterilize and disinfect every nook and cranny of her spotless house. It is in this way that she reminds me of a Stepford Wife. She...
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