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'my Mother and Her Sister' by Jane Rogers (1997)

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My mother and her sister

'My mother and her sister' is a short-story written by Jane Rogers in 1996. Here we follow our main character in the period after his mother's death and funeral. In this period the main character has invited his aunt Lucy to come and stay with him. This visit gushes forth a lot of memories and reflections about his aunt Lucy and his mother as well - whom the main character has a hard time mourning.

The main character of the short-story 'My mother and her sister' is the I-person, who is telling the story. It is not obvious whether this person is male or female. When we first meet the main character he has invited his aunt Lucy to his home after the funeral of his own mother. He is a little unsecure about the reason that and asks himself; 'Why did I ask Lucy to stay?'(Line 31, page 2) Then he states; 'I owe her. Gratitude or something', but at the same time he adds; 'I thought we might talk: my mother, her sister - there must be something to say. I thought she'd know how to behave, that grief would rub off on me.' (Line 34, page 2) This shows us that the main reason he has brought her to his house is the fact that he has not found a way to grieve. That he wants somebody to show him how.

Lacking the ability to mourn his mother occupies a lot of his thoughts; 'I haven't cried at all, I don't know why. When I tell myself she is dead I can't think anything. I seem to be quite hollow, to have gasp in my head.' (Line 24, page 2) This way of thinking indicates that our main character currently is in some state of shock and the way he keeps reminding himself that she is dead probably indicates an amount of denial too. The main character is mainly preoccupied with describing his aunts Lucy as the first thing we are told is; 'My aunt Lucy was married for 49 years, until her husband died. They had five children.' (Line 1, page 2) The fact that he chooses to begin the story this way shows us that he reflects a lot about her, which sounds odd due to the fact that his mother has just passed away and therefore should occupy a greater amount of his thoughts. This probably arises due to the state of shock that he finds himself in, because it is a way of not having to deal with his mother's death being too focused on his aunt Lucy.

Furthermore the main characters describes how he memorizes his Aunt Lucy as being as a picture in a children's book as 'a Beatrix Potter bunny mommy', and although the main character in his childhood enjoyed her hospitality in the school holydays, when his mother worked he explains that they were looking forward to another thing; 'and we waited for our mum to phone us' (Line 20, page 2) This shows us that the main character loved his mother very much even though she wasn't a traditional mother. He also describes how she always had a new boyfriend and that he liked when she had a new one, because that would make her happy and lift the mood in their home. But at the same time he also tells that; 'when her boyfriend's came around we made ourselves scarce.' (Line 15, page 2) This statement tells us how much the main character actually loved his mother even though he at times came in second row for his mother's attention. As long as she was happy he was happy too.

Our main character is clearly proud of his mother and the virtues that she had taught them: 'We learned from our mother that nothing is



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