Theme Of Unbecoming

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Alzheimer´s is a disease that destroys memory and other mental functions. Unbecoming is a story by Jenny Downham about the unpredictable Mary Todd, Mary has Alzheimer´s and the passing of her husband causes her to need to live with her daughter Caroline who is less than thrilled to have an additional person to look after other than her two kids. Throughout the story you can see how the characters deal with the chaos of life and the shift of plans caused by Mary moving in with Caroline and her children through word choice, syntax, and formality. The diction through the story Unbecoming really sets the tone for the book. In the Beginning of the story Caroline expressed her feeling about Mary with her words to the doctor. When asked if Mary…show more content…
Not only does the author have her own character syntax, but she also creates different character syntaxes for the character in her story; You can always tell what character is talking this book due to how they talk, they let out little bits & pieces of her childhood being raised by Pat, Mary’s sister instead of her real mother. Mary said “We’re the same, you and me, somewhat foolish somewhat brave. What did you say your name was again?” (139 Downham)This is character syntax, in this quote Mary has a contraction and incorrect grammar showing us that she is not formally speaking. She practically repeats herself by saying “We’re the same, you and me”, these two statements mean the same thing, she repeats herself to get her point acrossed. I think she often repeats herself because she is often ignored due to having Alzheimer's, you also see her Alzheimer’s come in at the end of the sentence. Mary was talking to her granddaughter who she spends almost every moment with yet forgets who she is. The mother talks the opposite of Mary. Another example of the author using character syntax to effect the tone is when Mary hires a detective to find out information on Caroline while she is living with Pat, ¨The detective´s office is seedy and Mary isn't sure he´s any good. How do you tell? What's to stop him only pretending to look for Caroline, But taking Marry´s money anyway?( Downham 167)¨. As you can see, these sentences are structured…show more content…
On page 170, Katy and Caroline are looking through old letters that Mary had written to Pat while Pat was raising Caroline in North Bisham. Pat would not let Mary see nor hear her daughter or even Pat herself. Mary continued to write Pat letter in the hope to hear from her family that she is extremely lonesome for. ¨Dear Pat, I am so sorry for any distress I have caused...I am sorry if I scared you by being too forthright. I would like us to get back on track...I look forward to your next package , and please be assured that if you ever felt it appropriate for me to visit, I would get on the first available train. (Downham 170,180)¨. As you can see, Mary writes very formally to her sister, Pat. You can see the formality many times few the bits of the letter above, she addresses Pat formally, she apologizes for past mistakes she made in the past, she uses large words, and makes it clear that she likes hearing from Pat on how the family is doing; The reason she has written so formally is to persuade Pat into letting Mary closer into the family, trying to make herself seem mature enough to be able to have some sort of relationship with her child. While reading these letters the reader will most likely be able to see from Mary's viewpoint, how she´s longing to be reunited with her daughter and how badly she wishes for
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