Vernissage by Claire Anderson-Wheeler
We have all experienced The Change. Not just any change, but the very special kind where you suddenly realize everything is different than you once thought, or maybe it’s yourself that have changed. But when does this change of life suddenly happens? When is your favorite food suddenly to yucky to eat? And when does the world suddenly seem more real and cruel? In Claire Anderson-Wheeler’s short story, “Vernissage”, we hear about Alex who is suddenly faced with all these questions he cannot answer. In the story we meet Alex who lives with his parents, who have been married probably for a lot of years, and it is starting to show in the way they talk to each other. Through the story we follow Alex and only see and experience what he does. The story is written with a 3rd person narrator but an omniscient one, because we hear a lot of Alex’s thoughts throughout the story. It is very important for the story that we never hear neither the mother’s nor the father’s thoughts. Because we do not hear them, we are left with the images of the way Alex sees the world, which gives us a lot of blind spots. Most of the story takes place in their home, the most familiar place a kid knows. This is a place where you usually feel very much at ease and can hide from the big questions in life, unfortunately, it does not always work like that. In this story it is at home Alex begins to realize that something has changed. It is very hard to put an exact age on Alex, because we get so many different impression of him. Sometimes it almost sounds as if he is two persons caught in one mind, the child and the teenager/adult. The first example of the child inside of him, is when the mother and him are sitting in the car and talking about the vernissage. At first he has no trouble with the pronunciation of the word, but suddenly he thinks of vernissage as a man dancing with the mother and pronounces it completely different. “Is the new dress so...
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