The Letterbox

1082 WordsNov 13, 20125 Pages
The Letterbox Essay By Lori Provan “The Letterbox” By Ann Marie Di Mambro is a dramatic monologue which discusses the theme of domestic violence. This essay will look at how the author uses a wide range of intense techniques to explore the theme. In “The Letterbox” housewife, Martha, has to suffer with her ruthless husband. Having been thrown out, Martha is slouched on a landing of her own flat. Throughout the monologue, she speaks to her young daughter, Wendy, through the letterbox. During their conversation only Martha can be heard. We can hear that she makes many unacceptable excuses to her young daughter made by the victims of domestic abuse. Her parenting skills are being questioned because of her instructions that are…show more content…
The stage directions “Jack puts his arm protectively around Jill” suggest that Jack is a very stereotypical man. Jack also refers to Martha as being “Pissed!” Jack and Jill’s names contrasts with Martha’s plight as the nursery rhyme seems innocent but there is an undercurrence of violence, but nowhere as near as brutal as Martha’s non innocent story. Therefore the brief appearance of Jack and Jill explains a large part of the large part of the stereotypical society we live in today. Furthermore, another way the author highlights the theme of inhuman treatment is through Martha’s conversation with Wendy, and the fact that some of her conversation with her daughter raises moral questions about the lessons she is teaching Wendy for the future. Throughout “The Letterbox” Martha teaches many outrageous lessons to Wendy. For instance, Martha explains to Wendy that the way her brutal husband behaves is acceptable and that all men do it. The quote, “It’s just the way men are” shows objectionable parenting skills, as only a small fraction of today’s male population act violently towards their loved ones. However, the large majority of the population do not act in this manner. At the end of the play Martha sings Wendy a bedtime lullaby. The simple four lined song is adaptable and poignant. There are three symbols in this song. Light, darkness and sleep. “Light” is to signify hope, that the light of their lives are fragile and can be easily
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