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Rhoda Brooks from "the Withered Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 9 July 2017

Rhoda Brooks from "the Withered

In the “Withered Arm”and “Your Shoes” both Rhoda Brooke and the narrator are very jealous and possessive women. So therefore the outcome is in fact very different. At the beginning but then your thoughts begin to change because jealousy takes over. In your shoes the narrator has a very destructive jealous nature and this has been present throughout her life She never got on with her mother whereas the daughter very well and envys their relationship. ‘she loved you more than me’. In Your Shoes the narrators blames all the jealousy on other people although its all her own fault. She use ‘I a lot.

Whereas in the Withered Arm Rhoda Brooke, makes all the situations the fault of her jealousy and blames herself. Rhoda did not let the jealousy make her bitter because she has been scared of it since the dream whereas the narrator in your shoes did. Both of the authors presents the jealousy as a very destructive force. in your shoes it also shows how jealousy destroyed her relationships with other people such as her and her daughter relationship and in the withered arm the author tells us that the worst effect of jealousy was on herself by going into guilt over what she did to Gurtrude and the jealousy she has towards her.

In the story “Your Shoes” there has been some upset caused by an argument between the mother’s husband and her daughter. The daughter came home late at night, drunk and gave the impression that she had lost her ‘girlhood’ this made the father go mad and upset the daughter a lot which then made her run away from home. The mother is then left to grieve over the loss of her daughter, she holds herself close to a pair of shoes, which represents the daughter throughout the story. The mother then starts to think over what has happened and this is when we see the jealousy and guilt come out.

She then thinks about what has gone on with her friends and that its their fault she has no self blame and what happened to her in her childhood. She then thinks what kind of mother she has been towards her daughter and where abouts her daughter is now. “Your Shoes” it is written in 1st person this helps the reader to understand how the mother is feeling, and her emotions are easier to identify. Where as in the “The Withered Arm” it is written in third person, so the reader sees it more as an observation rather than a personal view.

In “the Withered Arm” there is a very lonely women named Rhoda brook, she once had been in love with a man called Farmer Lodge. The two broke up and farmer lodge left Rhoda carrying his child. He then later on returns with a new wife and it all brings it back to Rhoda how much she loved him. My first thoughts on Rhoda Brook (the main character) were that she was a loner and a thin fading woman of thirty and milked the cows away from the other women. She doesn’t socialise or join in, in their conversation; one milkmaid refers to Rhoda as just a ‘she’, well that’s what my thoughts were.

She also seems to have something to do with farmer Lodge and his knew wife ‘Gertrude’. Rhoda later on goes to meet a boy this to me indicates that this is her son and explains to him that his farther is newly married the boy simply turns and says ‘yes mother’ the son is not really bothered even though that is his dad whereas Rhoda is. The son could have jealousy that the new women make take his dad away from him but he has no feeling towards it and I think this makes Rhoda stand out more and makes her jealousy look more possesive.

After this I begin to feel sorry for Rhoda because it seems to me that she is a loner. I think this because how other react around her such as the milkmaid incident and that she once must have been in love and that he has a newly wed which must be hard on a women with little status. This is bound to make any women curious and it does indeed to Rhoda. So she compares herself against Gertrude an example of this is where Rhoda states “If she’s dark or fair, and if she’s as tall as I am”

this obviously shows that she is weak because her love has gone and feels drained that Gurtrunde is better than her and that lifes not worth living in her eyes and begins to this that she was not good enough for farmer lodges love. I think they also compare because the jealousy is very much the same. Both women are jealous of the other person in “your shoes” the case is the mother goes through different stages of jealousy. The mother has no self blame and therefore it is all her daughters fault even though its not and its like the mother Knows its not but needs to blame her so she is not perfect.

Another type of jealousy. The mother also jealous of her daughter because of the friendship between her own mother and the daughter this also occurs later on when she talks about the daughters school friends. Her jealousy then grows to such an extent that she blacks everything out and therefore believes that the daughter has not left but is there with here but as the shoe . Where as in Rhodas case she is feeling jealous of Gurtrunde who has taken her place in the relationship between farmerlodge. This then all then turns into a feeling of guilt cased by a dream.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 9 July 2017

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