In this paper I will try to analyze the complex character of Fenstad's
Mother and show the changes and the consistencies in her character
throughout the story.
At first, Fenstad's Mother's character is revealed to us at the
beginning of the story as a very practical woman who was preoccupied
by social activities, social rights, and religion has never interested
her, she is amused by her son's churchgoing and even makes fun of him
because of it: "Fensad's mother was a lifelong social progressive who
was amused by her son's churchgoing" (p. 115), ""Skating after church?
Isn't that some sort of doctrinal error?" (p. 116).
She is a perceptive person. It took her only a short glance to reveal
Fenstad was skating (the stain of snow on his trousers): "She glanced
down at his trousers, damp with melted snow. "You've been skating."
Even though she is an elderly woman, she is still a strong and an
independent person: "Quickly he checked her apartment for any signs of
memory loss or depression. He found none and immediately felt relief.
The apartment smelled of soap and Lysol, the signs of an old woman who
wouldn't tolerate nonsense." (p. 116). She hates that she is getting a
special treatment because of her age: "What I hate about being my age
is how nice everyone tries to be. I was never nice, but now everybody
is pelting me with sugar cubes." (p. 117).
When she was young she was a social rebel, trying to change the world:
"She had spent her life in the company of rebels and deviationists,
and she recognized all their styles." (p...
... middle of paper ...
... scene when she listens to Jazz - she opened herself for new
things and she finds the light in it: "she now often mentioned
glimpses" (p. 125).
Music became like spiritual experience, something which can easily be
related to Religion or even Love - things she never felt comfortable
So in many ways we can say that her basic characteristics remain the
same all along:
She is still optimistic, didactic, and open for new ideas and willing
to listen and yet, her way of dealing with these characteristics is
more moderate now, less aggressive: "This is my unique problem,
Harry." Fenstad's mother coughed and then waited to recover her
breath. "I never heard enough jazz." She smiled." (p. 125).
She just lets herself be, she came to understand that life is not a
battlefield - there's a room for feelings too.
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