Essay – Vernissage Vernissage is a short story written by Claire Anderson-Wheeler, which is about the relationship between the mother, Frances and the father, John. It’s a story about the boy named Alex, whose parents have a very dysfunctional relationship. In the story Alex hides under his parents’ bed because he doesn’t want to do his homework. There he witnesses his mother trying to get his father’s attention, but his father keeps dismissing her and focuses on other things as the Vernissage.
The story shows how Alex’s parents’ lack of mutual understanding affects their child’s process of growing up. Alex is in the stage of being a child to becoming a teenager, and some things need to change for that to happen. For example in the sentence where is questioning himself if he is quite ready to give up the banana sandwich even though he likes them. (Page 8 Line 49-51) ” Maybe he was getting to old for banana sandwiches. He thought about saying that he didn’t want to eat them anymore. But he liked them”.
And this is a problem of whether not he should be a grown-up and stop eating them, or if he should still be a child and keep eating them. The mothers and fathers relationship is as said very dysfunctional, and its seems that both parents have their own reasons for the relationship being how it is now. In the start we get in impression of that the mother doesn’t really belong in the community by her being the outsider, which is one of the problems in the relationship, because she doesn’t have anybody else than her family . Page 7 Line 1-4) ” Mothers clustered outside the school gates. they chattered; and those waylaid by the dull or domineering rattled keys at intervals, announcing a departure they could not quite achieve. Alex’s mother was waiting in the car” Here we see that the mother doesn’t do anything to be apart and getting to know the community When the mother talks to Alex she tells him that she ought to be talking to people at the Vernissage. (Page 8 Line 63-64)” Who will you talk to? Oh I expect there will be lots of people I ought to talk to” Here we see that it’s a duty she has to do, and not something she really wants to, because she has to be this ideal woman to please the father. The mother is the one who seems to take care of the family and does the things that has to be done in the family, as she’s the only one who is at home, when Alex for example needs something, Some examples of what she does is: (Page 8 Line 48) ” At home she made him a banana sandwich” and (Page 10 line 158-159) ” Oh, Frances – that shirt-..
I stopped by the cleaners. It’s on the hall table” And one thing she also does is that she’s always picking up Alex from school. This proves that the mother is the one doing everything in the house, even if she doesn’t want to, because she’s the only one who has the time to get everything done by time. The father doesn’t take part of anything because the his career is the only thing he focuses on, and its defiantly more important than his love for the wife and son because his love isn’t as strong as it once was, but the mother still tries to get his attention.
She takes the father’s hand and puts it on her breast. Here she is trying to get his attention by seeing her themselves as the man and women they was once before. To this the father is so ignorant and selfish and takes his hand to her shoulder. He hardly react to it at all and he replies to her with the same voice as always. (Page 10 Line 138-140) ” But his father’s voice was the same as usual ” It’s very nice Frances. Lovely” That voice Alex knew.
It was the same voice that he heard when he showed his father something he’d made at school” And when the mother shows the father her new dress that she had bought he can’t even remember what he had said to her before. , (Page 10 Line 124-125) ” You’ve told me before how the color suits me,” ” Did I? I’m sure it does. ” Here you clearly see that the father once upon a time used to care about which colors his wife was wearing, but now he doesn’t even remember caring about it. Alex’s relationship to his father is not quite good, but he still look up to his father and wants to be like him.
He doesn’t see his father being the father that he should be. He imagined his mother dancing with another man, and here would every child see their own parents dance together and not with some stranger. (Page 8 Line 36) ” Alex imagined Vernie Sagde dancing with his mother at the party tonight” The main themes in the text are pretty obvious, and that is lack of communication and growing up. Here we see how the mothers and fathers relationship affect Alex in his way of growing up, and he realizes what’s happening in his family, and takes the step of growing up and being like an adult.
The symbol of his childhood is the banana sandwiches he loves to eat, and the green crocodile toothbrush he has. When Alex was eating the sandwich he was questioning if he should make the decision of being grown-up or not. And after the leaving the parents’ bedroom he made up his mind of becoming an adult, and we see that at the end where he wants a new toothbrush and when brushing the teeth he makes the ” wish-wish” sound as his father always does, and it a sign of that he want to be like him.
You can see how it affects a child in being in a dysfunctional relationship. The father as said cares more about his job, than his love towards his wife, and he can’t see the mothers cries of attention, and at the end she has just given up. Alex himself realizes after being under the bed that everything isn’t all right and can see a difference from what he had thought of his family before. And he goes from being a child to a more grown-up person, who now realizes what’s happening that he hasn’t known before.
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