Analysis of The Dress, by Julia Darling

Topics: Short story, Interpersonal relationship, In medias res Pages: 3 (1030 words) Published: February 22, 2012
In this essay I will analyze and interpret the short story: “The dress” written by Julia Darling in 2006. Rachel and Flora know each other very well but their relationship is very complicated and unnatural. When the dress was missing, Rachel was furious and immediately jumped to the conclusion that Flora had taken it. This indicates how well she knows her sister and how little she thinks of her. The text indicates that Flora has a low self-esteem, that she’s very jealous at Rachel and thinks of her as unattainable. “It seemed to Flora that the dress was meant for her, not Rachel. It made her feel taller, braver, cleverer, and Rachel was all those things already” (p. 8 l. 35 –p. 9 l. 2). This indicates that Flora felt she was in her right to take the dress, because the dress made her feel all those things that Rachel felt in the first place. To start with it wasn’t Flora’s intention to take the dress, but the way it made her feel when she wore it, made it impossible for her to take it off. This indicates that she’s very insecure about her looks and that she didn’t stole it deliberately, as Rachel thinks, but that it was an innocent opportunity for her to feel sophisticated and beautiful, which, I think, is very uncommon for Flora. The text indicates that Rachel and Flora don’t have a close relationship and that Rachel doesn’t know anything about Flora’s feelings. Rachel thinks that Flora is immature and childish and she has had enough of her behavior; the only way Flora can manage her insecurity is by provoking Rachel, instead of just admitting that she accidentally ruined the dress, and this frustrates Rachel.

The mother is a bereavement counselor, just turned 40 and is a calm, patient and relaxed person who likes life the most when it’s peaceful and like “a flat sea with no sudden breezes” (p. 10 l. 25-26). Although, the text indicates that she is very unhappy and depressed, dealing with distraught and shattered people every day, and that she just needs to...
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