Mavis Gallant's Bernadette
Fear, it has a way of controlling everything that it comes in contact with.
As young children we are introduced to this intimidating desire with intrigue and suspicion. As we age, the thoughts of fears become more like realities, ideas of loneliness and death enter the picture as comprehensible thoughts and views of the future. These issues make up the foundation of the Mavis Gallant story "Bernadette". In this story we are presented with the image of a young
French Canadian girl, who finds herself pregnant and without a husband. The context of the story explores the relationships between the members of the household in a fear associated manner. The relationship between the Knights and Bernadette is…show more content…
These fears were reinforced by Nora; her fears of failure, allowed herself to place her children into private boarding school, so that would not have to suffer the thoughts of bringing up her children wrong. All the fears that controlled their lives affirmed their ideas of how life was to be lived. The fears of being alone brought Nora to the point where she was ready to do everything that she could to keep Robbie apart of her life. This point is proven at the end of the story when Nora's suspicions about Robbie and Bernadette bring her to suggesting that they pay for Bernadette to be placed in a home so that she can continues her life with Robbie as if undisturbed. As well, the anxiety she experiences is tested at the party she holds where her total control is lost by all the disturbing news she is given about her husband and Bernadette. She is forced to continue with the party in confusion and despair.
This intertwined relationship between the Knights and Bernadette illustrate how people are fearful and deceitful to each other even when living under the same roof. The fabrications of tales and unseen conditions brought out the anxieties in each of the characters. These fears are manifested at the initial start of the relationships and continue to grow if not put to rest.
This is seen when the pressure of the unborn child is released from
Bernadette's conscience when Nora is forced to corner Bernadette in the kitchen to question her about the suspicions of her