The Flight of Kate Vaiden

725 Words3 Pages
Page 1
The Flight of Kate Vaiden

Kate Vaiden was a character with many problems. She dealt with them in many different ways but the one she used the most was to flee and run away from her problems when they become too big for her to handle. The most predictable behavior Kate can manage seems to be unplanned periodic flight and reappearance on the doorstep of anyone who promises comfort, then flight again whenever the threat of permanence begins to suffocate her. She does linger long enough to conceive a child by a lover with a parentless background to match her own. She crosses the landscape of North Carolina, from her small town of Macon to Raleigh, up to Norfolk, Va., to Greensboro and back again, getting on and off trains on an impulse or a premonition, showing up at the houses of relatives she barely knows, casting herself with strangers. She is helped more than she wants to acknowledge by an assortment of lively characters who sustain her and ask little in return. Kate has an incapacity to fully commit herself to anyone.
These actions were happening even before she had the power to stop it. Kate and Francis were forced to flee from Dan to attend the funeral. This does not mean that Kate was unhappy or abused in any way. She had an invulnerably happy early childhood and

Page 2 remembers her young parents as attractive and fiercely devoted. Her mother was depressive and her was father jealous of what he takes to be his wife's special relationship to her family. The night before they left Dan and Francis had a huge argument over this. Kate's mother had been abandoned by a mother who succumbed to the dangers of childbirth. Kate recalls the mysterious circumstances in which her father, Dan, shot his wife, Frances, and then himself. Kate was forced to flee the life she once had and begin a new one in the care of her aunt and uncle. At the age of 11 she seems less scarred by their deaths than one might expect. She lived with them for many years and developed into a woman. She meet Gaston and fell in love with him. They did not have a typical relationship. Gaston enlists himself in the war and is killed even before reaching enemy grounds. At this time Kate is helped by many characters.
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