Vernissage: Mother and Child Alex

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When a child is growing up, the parents relationship influences the child a lot. But happy married couples, don't always stay happy. In Claire Anderson-Wheeler's short story “Vernissage”, The child Alex lives his life, oblivious to the change in his parents relationship, until he ''happens'' to overhear a private conversation.

The short story has a first person narrator, who is also the main character, the child Alex. Alex is at the age where he starts to question whether he is too old for some things: “Maybe he was getting too old for banana sandwiches. He thought about saying that he didn't want to eat them any more. But he liked them(...)”(p. 8, l. 49-51), but though he feels he might be getting too old, he isn't quite ready to give up his childhood things at the beginning of the short story. But after hearing his mother and father's conversation in the bedroom, he changes his mind, deciding that he will ask his mother for less childish things. Alex sudden wish to grow up, comes from learning the truth about his parents relationship. Whether he only understands the extent of his parents problems subconsciously, or I old enough to process it, is not known, although it I seems mostly like the first possibility, since he doesn't start crying, or thinking about what might happen in the future. The parents relationship is almost non-existing, and it seems to have been bad for a while. But since the father had once cared about what the mother wore, and the fact that purple suited her, means that their relationship hadn't always been like this. But at this point he doesn't even try to sound interested: ““It's very nice, Frances. Lovely.” That voice Alex knew. It was the same voice that he heard when he showed something he'd made in school”(p. 10, l. 138-140). This comment shows the reader just how little the father is actually paying attention, and how little it means to him, that his wife has put on a beautiful dress, just for him. But even though...
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