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Analysis Of Sredni Vashtar And Such A Pretty Little Picture

1000 words - 4 pages

Analysis of Sredni Vashtar and Such a Pretty Little PictureSredni Vashtar and Such a Pretty Little Picture are short stories whose main heroes share a common character trait: they both dream about a world where they can finally be free. Both of them live in a reality in which they do not feel happy and they use their imagination to escape from their forlorn position. The two protagonists are Conradin, a ten-year-old boy who is diagnosed with a fatal illness and Mr. Wheelock, who has a seemingly perfect life but deep down he wants nothing more but escape. While Conradin is a prisoner of his own illness, Mr. Wheelock is cornered by the expectations of society."Conradin was ten years old, and ...view middle of the document...

But it is just the surface. He is dissatisfied with his life, his wife often makes fun of him in public and questions his masculinity and his daughter is an ill-favored child with whom he has no strong bond. He hears about a man who for the last twenty years "had gone to the city on the 8:12, sitting in the same seat in the same car, and every evening he had gone home to his wife on the 5:17, sitting in the same seat in the same car", but one day, instead of going home on the train as usual, he paused, walked off, and was never seen again. Mr. Wheelock starts to fantasize about running away and never look back, but he always comes up with something that delays his plan. At the end he remains with the one thing he can properly do - cutting the hedge while daydreaming about the breaking out from his monotone life, because "clipping the hedge was one of the few domestic duties that Mr. Wheelock could be trusted with". (Such a Pretty Little Picture, Parker, 1995)Conradin and Mr. Wheelock are similar in a sense that both of them are suppressed by a dominant woman. Conradin`s life is dictated by the prohibitions set by Mrs. De Ropp. It is not enough that this little boy is severely sick, but he has to put up with a cold-hearted guardian, who instead of giving her nephew the little things that would make his final years tolerable, takes all the joy from his life. Mr. Wheelock endures his wife`s constant mocking and...

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