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Low Visibility

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The short story "Low Visibility" by Margaret Murphy is a fictional story, which deals with many topics, such as violence, love, hate, oppression, and right and wrong and the story is told by an un­instructed and omniscient 3. person narrator who tells the story as it unfolds.

The plot takes off in medias res as we are thrown into a scene where Laura's husband John is watch­ing television without any introduction. The structure in the story lets us jump a bit back and forth between two settings, as we are shown what is happening in the streets though Johns television, while we are also following the main characters in the apartment. So the story unfolds two places: the streets and John and Laura's apartment. The setting shows that Laura and John does not have a lot of money, and are probably low class or low middle class because they live in an apartment above a shop, which is not normally a location those people would choose to live. There is also smaller details that support this, like the fact that John wears boots inside, and John feels that his wife should not be trusted with anything of value, which might be an indication that they don't really have many things of value.

The title "Low Visibility" is a synonymous of Laura. She does not have anything to say at home, and she is John submissive. Margaret Murphy plays on this pun, by letting Laura feel invisible to her very filling husband, John. At the end of the story, Laura walks outside and joins the people of low visibility. Thereby she gets over John, and she does not want him to be a part of her life any more. Margaret Murphy shows this by now referring to her by her real name.

We don't hear a lot of factual stuff about Laura, how she looks and so on, but we do know a lot about her character. She used to be a happy, out going person and now her husband has squeezed the spirits out her( P.8 l.19-24). Laura is now a humble, nervous, humourless, unhappy and very submissive person: "Better that he hurt her absent-mindedly, as a man might puncture and tear at the rim of a polystyrene cup. It comforts her that there is no malice in it. She has learned to find solace in small things.(p. 9 l. 49-51)

From this, it is obvious that their marriage is deeply dysfunctional. " People say he's light on his feet for a big man, but he never was so with her. When he walked all over her, she felt it."(P. l. 105-106). The sentence clearly describes their marriage pretty much. He doesn't know how to love and she can't stand up for herself. When he is described as a big man, it also symbolizes how he is both verbally and physically abusive and more in control than her.

John as young he was always the outsider. The sort of person who always slouched at the edge of a group, eager to be a part of it, but never really was accepted and respected by the others. And



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