‘Low Visibility’ - Essay
Many women experience violence in their relationships. Their fear keeps them from escaping, but fortunately, some women find a way out. Margaret Murphy's short story “Low Visibility” gives us a realistic insight of how people can remold other people negatively, and yet even though they have reached the very bottom, hope can still bring them back their spirits and rights. Laura, who she is called, is married to her abusive husband John who is being violent. He likes to beat her up and probably also rape her from time to time, which the text gives expression for many times;
‘She can feel the crackle of tension like an electrical charge in the air. He slaps her with the back of his hand, his knuckles bruising her cheekbone. “Sit still, you twitchy cow” He says. This is his foreplay, his substitute for romance’ (P. 10, L. 80-87)
This is also an example of the violence John is causing Laura, but it hasn’t always been like this, Laura hasn’t always been unhappy; ‘once she was a girl who could set a room to laughter’ (P. 8, L. 19) She used to have a spirit, to be lively and exited, but the violence in the relationship has changed her dramatically. John has squeezed out the joy of her, until there was none left. John have made her insubstantial, and caused her to be an afraid, trembly woman.
‘She hasn’t spoken a word of command in four years’ (P. 10, L. 99-100)
That John is a big man also symbolizes that people respect him, so he has never been oppressed, and it is doubtful if he really knows how it feels and what it means.
During the violent relationship between Laura and John there’s another important event taking place. A riot breaks loose in the town and their following it on the TV. Young people of groups in thirty or forty have gathered and some of them are armed or wearing masks. They are causing as much damage as they can do, their looting shops, burning cars, smashing windows, throwing stones and stealing.
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