Fay Weldon- Weekend
1) Summary of the story
Weekend is a short feministic story depicting traditional middle-class family, consisting of the mother- Martha and the father of three- Martin, going for the weekend to their cottage near Stonehenge, where they will meet their friends. On Friday, Martha is preparing some things, food and complaining (innerly) about her life. Martin wants her to be perfect, as she says “he likes women with small hips and big bosoms, that´s incredible.” She has a suspicion that her husband has an affair with his secretary, who looks exactly that way.
Martin has a small sport car, but they take Martha´s car for the trip, since it is bigger, although it is the older one. Martha can´t drive, because her driving licence was taken away for drunken driving. The whole journey, Martin is joking about the car, but Martha takes it personally, whilst she has got the feeling, he is ambiguously talking about her.
Late at night, their friends- Colin and his girlfriend Katie, arrive to visit them in their cottage. His previous wife, Janet with whom he has two children, was a nice woman and Martha liked her, however she was not so stunning like the new one. Martha prepares mushroom omelettes in her nightie, sets the table, cleans everything after the late supper and goes to bed at 2 a.m. Katie sits and has a good time, without any intention to help her.
The other day Martha sleeps longer than usually and has the consumptions, because everything in the kitchen stays exactly in the same place, where the consumers had left it. She shouldn´t sleep so long. Glamorous Katie did not help with anything. Again. The rest of their friends, Harry and Beryl, come for the lunch. They bring fresh artichokes. While Martha is preparing the artichoke soup, the top of the blender flies away and the kitchen is full of artichoke puree. Awkward Martha. Jenny starts her first period and Martha is impressed and cries. She is not her little child anymore, but a little woman.
To sum up the story, a woman must be always perfect. Great wife, mother, babysitter, awesome cook, successful careerist, best friend, psychologist, teacher, doctor, dishwasher, cleaner with bottomless sexual appetite. While exhaustion, influenza, migraine or other illnesses are mission impossible. And naturally, you should do it all in high heels, scented, with exquisite hair, flawless make- up and smile on your face.
2) Characteristics of the main characters
Martha- a 38-year old house wife and mother of three- Jenny, Jasper and Jolyon. She wants to be a perfect woman and tries to manage everything, what in her eyes woman should manage; however, her husband does not see that. She feels undervalued by him as long as he is criticizing her and looks back to the other women, young, childless, with big bosoms and little hips. She is also helping pretty much with house expenses, the thing, she´s not very satisfied with, because a good husband of his good wife should manage that.
Martin- husband of Martha; iconic example of a man who comes home, extremely exhausted after all day in work and awaiting the house to be clean, children calm and that his wife will be neat, scented, smiling and ready to make him a supper according to his wishes. He is not satisfied with his wife. She should be slimmer, nicer, make healthier meals, and use plenty of perfumes he keeps buying her.
Jenny, Jasper, Jolyon- children of Martha and Martin. We don´t know much about them. Jenny dries off her hair with Katie´s Yves Saint Laurent towel and gets the period for the first time at the end of the story. Jasper has hay fever.
Katie- a glamorous, childless, scented chick in her middle thirties; kind of a “modern wife”, who came to the relationship with one bag of clothes, intelligence and free mind.
Colin- boyfriend of Katie, he loves her very much and wants to marry her. He has two children from the previous marriage. Katie does not like his ex-wife...
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