In this essay I intend to compare “Your Shoes” by Michele Roberts to “The End of Something” written by Ernest Hemingway. I will compare the two stories where characters face difficult situations. The writers have both faced difficult situations in their lives this has been reflected in the stories. Michele Roberts faced this when she had been living away from her parents. In “Your Shoes” the mother finds it challenging to leave the bedroom, “I’ve locked the bedroom door” here it shows the setting signifies how the mother struggles to accept that her daughter has “left me” but instead the mother wants to hold on, “pick up a shoe…
and hold it like a baby” the writer has used a simile here to show how important the shoes are. Roberts has also used personification to express how the mother faces difficult situations. Furthermore the themes of conflict, relationships and especially loss show how the characters face difficult situations. The theme of loss is revealed, “After my mother died I had to clear out… her shoes hurt me so much” Here the mother had clearly faced enough situations where it was hard for her. Roberts has written this to express her guilt of how she treated her mother.
Another important theme is conflict, “when your father called you a dirty slut he didn’t mean you to take it personally” Here the father finds it difficult to accept that his daughter is sexually active. The mother stands up for him by saying “he adores you” here the mother is trying to solve the problem. She doesn’t understand that many fathers feel resentful when their daughters start to grow up. In this way the reader is encouraged to think that all three characters are put in a situation where they couldn’t cope with the truth. Roberts portrays the character of the mother as insecure; she is unable to control herself with the situation.
The mother deals with this through, “You’re so innocent, you didn’t realize” here the writer has shown the mother going through a stage of denial. This encourages the reader to think that she couldn’t face the circumstances. Furthermore the mother states that, “It was that mob”. Clearly the mother is being paranoid. The noun “mob” is a term that is insulting, but the mother believes that under no circumstances that it is the fault of her daughter. “The End of Something” is similar to “Your Shoes” in a way that one of the character is dishonest, ‘”What’s the matter Nick? ” Marjorie asked
“I don’t know “Nick said” it is obvious that the dishonesty is creating a rift in the relationship. And moreover suggests that Nick is facing a complicated situation. One of which he does not want to disclose to Marjorie, “He was afraid to look at Marjorie” The verb “afraid” implies that Nick feels insecure around her. This is shown in Roberts’s story where the daughter had been dishonest to her parents and clearly the mother was hurt. Another factor of similarity is that in both the situations Nick from “The End of Something” and the mother from “Your Shoes” faced; were connected to the break up of relationships.
In “The End of Something” it is proven, ‘”It isn’t fun any more”‘ this is where Nick has declared that he wants to end the relationship with Marjorie. He is stating that he believes that the relationship is failing. Nick is confused, ‘”I feel as though everything was gone to hell inside of me”‘ Nick faced a difficult situation and was unable to handle it properly. Clearly it was hard for him. The reader is lead to the conclusion that this may be true when, “Nick… lying on his face on the blanket” here the adverb “lying” suggests that he is feeling guilty and perhaps didn’t want the relationship to end.
This is also true for Roberts’s story because the mother doesn’t want the relationship to end with her daughter; she faces a complex situation due to this. Unlike “Your Shoes” where the setting is a refugee from the outside world and perhaps the bedroom symbolizes the mothers’ heart. “The End of Something” is different, the reader sees that the mill at the start of the story that closes down signifies the end of the relationship at the end of the story; the break up was tough for Nick as he “went back and lay down with his face in the blanket” Evidently Nick is upset and does not want to express his feelings and emotions.
Just like in “Your Shoes”, it shows her, “If I keep my mouth pursed tight I can’t scream or throw up” currently the mother does not want to show her feelings to anyone and is perhaps scared of the reality of the situation she is tackling. To conclude “Your Shoes” is written in 1st person and the fact that it is written in non-chronological order makes the reader come to terms with the difficult situations the character of the mother faces. However Hemingway has written “The End of Something” in 3rd person narrative; this is a good way of portraying how all the characters feel in the difficult positions.
Although there is no description of how the characters are feeling. The chorological order used by Hemingway differs to Roberts’s idea of mixed events; these are used to express the sheer confusion of the narrator. Both the writers’ succeeded to illustrate characters that face difficult situations. Zenab Ahmed! Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.