Benny the war in Europe Essay

780 Words4 Pages
Benny, the War in Europe, and Myerson’s daughter Bella This short story takes place in Montreal in a Jewish family. It begins during WW2 and continues 5-10 years. It appears to be a small and mainly poor working class community. Benny’s family seems to be wanting more from life, especially his father, who always compares his son to the other sons in the community. Benny: In the beginning of the story Benny is described as a quiet boy, who is likely to stay out of trouble, should he goes to war. He does go to war and when he returns apparently nothing has changed. Benny is still the quiet boy; short and skinny with a long narrow face, a pulpy mouth and soft black eyes. An important thing to notice is his hands. Later in the story…show more content…
Everybody, including her father, is sure that Bella will end up an old maid, but she turns out to be the first one to notice that Benny has changed. This demonstrates her qualities, despite that she is not all beautiful on the outside. Maybe because Bella is not filled with confidence, she has the quality of being patient and caring for other people, especially Benny, whose weakness she instantly discovers. Bella & Benny. This is the point where Bella and Benny’s relationship begins. Benny has trouble opening up to Bella. He clearly wants to tell her about the war, but he always jams when the images appear to him. Bella clearly wants to help him, unconsciously helping herself, but in her efforts to do so, she takes on a maternal role, in which she would rather have Benny forget everything about the war. So instead of encouraging him to dig deeper into his emotional issues, she regards him as a child, waiting for him to be reasonable whenever he awkwardly tries to share his experiences with her. This “ignorance” to Benny’s problems continues in their marriage, and eventually becomes the reason that Bella leaves Benny to himself while having one of his nervous seizures. The post war-period, of course, were different times, and, taking time, place and culture into consideration, one can not expect a simple community to react otherwise. This is, I believe the point in the story: That shell shock was a reality to a
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