The Dress

Decent Essays
Assignment 12

”The Dress” by Julia Darling is a short story about jealousy and the troubles of single mothers with careers. It tells about the relationship between the two sisters, Rachel and Flora. It is a tense relationship, which finally breaks on their mother 's fortieth birthday when Flora has stolen and ruined Rachel 's dress. Rachel, unable to handle her sister anymore, goes to live with their father instead. Some time after the mother kicks Flora out of the house. The mother in the story is a forty-year-old bereavement counsellor. She lives alone with her two daughters. We know that she is divorced, because the girls ' father does not live with them but is not dead either. When Rachel and Flora start fighting, the mother is
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It gives us a better impression of the characters and also explains their behaviour better than if for example the entire story had been told only from Rachel 's point of view. In the story jealousy is a main theme. We see it when Flora tries to be like her sister to gain their mother 's attention. Another theme is the troubles of being a single mother with a career. The mother is unable to distance herself from her job and her private life, when trying to be a mother and solve the conflict between her daughters, because what she really wants is just to relax and have a nice time, but since she is the only parent, she is the one with the responsibility of helping them. In conclusion “The Dress” shows what can happen when an unstable relationship between two siblings breaks and the parent is unable to fix it. It describes the consequences of putting your job before your family, as the mother does in this case, and of letting something destructive like jealousy evolve into something so big that there is nothing to do and it eventually
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