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A Bird in the House

Uploaded by Quest4Glory on Jul 05, 2004

The theme of entrapment is evident in Margaret Laurence's A Bird in the House; all the characters in the novel are entrapped. These characters deal with the sense of confinement and the need for escape. Vanessa, Ewen and Aunt Edna all reach personal freedom, however only to a small extent because they are left with the pain of their memories and regrets.

Vanessa reaches personal freedom to a small extent. The stories in A Bird in the House show the pains that Vanessa goes through while growing up. Vanessa travels on a journey form ignorance to knowledge. This journey is her comprehension of why things happen, and how the past, present and future are tied together. Vanessa realizes that the past affects the present which affects the future. While growing up Vanessa is faced with having to live with the dominance of Grandfather Conner. Grandfather Conner represents a dominant patriarchal figure that rules the family. He always had a strong control over the people that lived with him. He was a perfectionist and was very proud of what he had accomplished and at no cost would he let his reputation be scarred. After her fathers death Vanessa moved into the Brick House with Grandfather Conner, this is when she noticed the trapped conditions that aunt Edna was living in and her mother was going to have to live in again. Vanessa always tried to free herself of the things that went on around her by writing exaggerated adventure stories. When Vanessa wrote, it was her chance to get away from the things that made her feel trapped. Vanessa is freed of Grandfather Conner's tyranny when he dies, at least one thinks so. However it is evident in the story "Jericho's Brick Battlements," that Vanessa will never be free of Grandfather Conner. The painful memories that she has of him will remind her everyday that she is not free of his oppression. Vanessa realizes that she is like him when: "[she] wanted to tell [the new owners of the Brick house] to trim their hedges, to repaint the windowframes, to pay heed to repairs. [she] had feared and fought [grandfather Conner], yet he proclaimed himself in [her] veins." ("A Bird in the House," p. 191). Thus, it is evident that Vanessa was not free of Grandfather Conner's tyranny, which prevented her from reaching personal freedom.

In addition, Vanessa was unable to...

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Uploaded by:   Quest4Glory

Date:   07/05/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   6 pages (1,422 words)

Views:   32125

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