All households studied in Who Has Seen the Wind and "To Set Our House in Order," include minor characters who have power, demonstrate acceptable behaviour yet fail to provide proper nurturing - all acting as major influences on the order with which the main characters conduct their lives.
The main characters in both works, both still quite young in their years, need older influences within the home to demonstrate power, in order to grow up with structure to be better people. Father Gerald O'Connal found within Brian's home in Who Has Seen the Wind, is the first to have power within the home. He is one of the two main characters with power within the home as well as within the community because of his, "university education, his fine business and his fine home," (Mitchell 17). He not only provides an income for his family, but provides his children with the structure in which they need to grow. The second character who has power, is Grandmother MacMurray. She is to take care of the family and look after young Brian. He knows to listen when she scolds, "If ye stay inside ye'll disturb the baby. Ye must go out!," (5). Brian has had to follow his grandmother's strict rules and order since his mother became pre-occupied with Brian's sick brother Bobbie. Similarly, Vanessa's Grandmother MacLeod in "To Set Our House in Order," is the main character who demonstrates power within her home. When
Vanessa becomes upset over her mother's illness, her grandmother offers no consolation, only to say "Vanessa, big girls of ten don't make such a fuss about things," (45). She is a strong-willed, rigid woman possibly because it was never ...
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... include unfortunate situations that causes the parents and elders of the main characters to become pre-occupied, and fail to provide the nurturing the children need as they grow up., which is part of the downfall in both of the studied works.
The minor characters found within the home in both Who Has Seen the Wind and "To Set Our House in Order," are successful in their efforts to show and demonstrate power as well as demonstrate acceptable behaviour, both aiding as a guideline for the children who are the main characters. Yet they fail to provide proper nurturing the children need, which is important in any child's life as they grow - to get attention, feel loved and wanted. Both making for an uncomfortable balance in the works studied.
Mitchell, William Ormond. Who Has Seen the Wind.
Toronto, Ontario. MacMillan Canada. 1993
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