Emil Poulsen 2.r
The dress is a short story about the 3 women, Rachel, Flora and their mother. The story revolves around the troubles of having separated parents and broken families.
The story is about Rachel’s dress, which she has been looking forward to wear at her mother’s birthday, but her sister Flora steals it and ruins it by spilling a drink on it while she is with her friend Alberto. Rachel and Flora meet up with their mother at a restaurant and the mother immediately notice that Rachel hardly looks at Flora. The mother starts asking why Rachel is angry and the mother finds out about dress, but Flora will not admit to stealing the dress. Flora gets annoyed by Rachel constantly asking where it is and she makes a scene. The three women then go home and Rachel packs a suitcase, so she can move home to her father. Flora then admits to stealing and ruining the dress. And as if that was not enough, Flora had also buried it. The story ends with Rachel ...view middle of the document...
This could be a clue to the mother being so cold and without feelings. The way the mother handles the crisis when they get home is also very therapeutic, when Flora breaks down and starts crying, the mother treats her like a client; “She hid her face in her hands, her shoulders shaking. The mother pushed a box of tissues towards her”. This is the exact some thing the mother would do if one of her clients started crying in front of her.
The relationship between the two sisters Flora and Rachel is a very strained one. Rachel is very mad at Flora for stealing her dress, and it seems like this is not the first time Flora has “borrowed” something from Rachel, without Rachel knowing it. Flora seems very careless and she acts as if nothing has happened with the dress and the situation at the restaurant only evolves because Flora does not want to admit to stealing the dress. Their relationship has always been very tense and strained; “Communication between her daughters was often like this: barbed and dangerous”.
The meaning of barbed is that you could only go to a certain border, or else you would get hurt.
The structure of the story is partly chronological with a few flashbacks with a 3rd person narrator, who is almost omniscient. The story keeps switching focus on Flora and Rachel. First we here about Rachel and how she found out about her dress and suddenly the narrator switches focus on Flora and how she is enjoying wearing the dress.
The dress is a symbol of Rachel and Flora’s relationship and it is very clear that when Flora buried the dress, it is a symbol of Flora burying the problems that Rachel and Flora have. The dress could also represent the relationship in another way. The dress could represent the relationships status: dead and buried.
The themes in this story broken families and the trouble that it brings.
The family is broken, because the parents are separated and therefore the mother most likely had to raise the two girls on her own and this could lead to the two sisters competing for the mothers attention. The father does clearly not care for the daughters: “…he would leave a key under the rosemary bush as he was going to bed early”. If the father really cared for his daughter, he would wait up and talk to her about her problems.