arents who have illegitimate children can be isolated from the surrounding world. Furthermore do some Catholics think that the involved should be banished from the Catholic faith. Frustration and anxiousness can lead to secrets in families and a tense atmosphere. One often put up facades to hide something. Every relationship is special as we see in the short story.
“Vodka on a Sunday” written by Fiona Gartland is a contemporary short story which deals with these issues.
The whole storey is told through our narrator perspective.
The short story could take place in Ireland because the place Parnell Park is mentioned in the texts. In the beginning you get the feeling of a very lovely harmony, you can see that in the quotation “When I recall that Sunday afternoon it is a hazy dream bathed in late summer sunshine.” And for me it was very notable that the daughter could remember the big beautiful crystal lamp. There are passages which describes the atmosphere.
It is very tense especially when the mother is talking about her childhood and how she meets her husband. Nevertheless is seems that she is afraid of telling her daughter something.
Nina the mother represents the old authoritarian way of living. In addition to that she is also very religious. In her childhood she lived together with nine brothers and sisters in a two-bed roomed house. Her parents were very stringent with her and she swore that she never would that to her children. When she was young her dream was to be a nun and she found it peaceful.
That dream shattered when she visited her nana’s house. They were sow poor that her maternal instinct took over and she decided that she was compelled to help them. She meets her husband by dancing with him. She worries that her daughter would do something stupid, like she maybe once have done. She worries because once her husband caught their daughter and her boyfriend kissing and they overreacted a bit. And when she told her daughter, that her father was afraid she was a lot like her mother. That sounds like the mother also has a secret she maybe can not reveal. She is trying by saying that she wants her daughter to know that she can tell everything to her. By saying that she hopes that her daughter wants to tell her some dirty secrets but that is not happening.
I think that her mother do know what her daughter is doing with boys, that is just a thing a mother knows, but her mother is really trying to tell her dirty secret to her daughter but it is not working. The passage were she tells her daughter that she use to make her brothers bed when they were kicking ball on the road, tells us that the mother is raised in a very old fashion way. You also get the feeling that there are different jobs in the house, some for the mother and some for the father.
The narrator represents a whole other generation than her mother. She is free and her limits are far beyond her mothers. The narrator has put her mother on a pedestal and thinks of her as a woman who never put a food wrong. The only times she could identify herself with her mother was when the mother joined parties. You can see that in quotation “at parties she sparkles like someone’s sprinkled her with glitter. She isn’t even my mother then, just Nana”. At parties she sparkles, in the meaning of, that she is lively. And it is also here she can get a little glint in her mothers truly personality. She manages to go to college, but her only problem was that she did not take it seriously. She is very proud of her mother, because she thinks that her mother has an effect on people. Maybe the daughter does not want to know her mother’s secret because she wants to preserve this good image she has of her mother.
They have a special bond, the mother and the daughter, they have this repetition habit they resume every time the father is out of the house:”…Dad is gone to Parnell Park, we’ve opened the cabinet and begun a small conspiracy.” The mother trusts her daughter very much and she is very optimistic about many things. The daughter is more careless then her mother. The mother was raised under other circumstances than her daughter. The mother’s family was very religious and when she was younger she wanted to be a nun. The text reveals that when the daughter was younger the mother often drank when they talked. You can see that in the quotation: “…I could never understand why her small drink lasted so much longer than my tall on”. You can tell that the mother is not very religious anymore and that affects her daughter.
A theme in the text could be illegitimate children, because that is not accepted in very religious families. I think that the daughter in this text is an illegitimate child. It is obvious that the mother has a secret she wants to tell, but she can not. The only time the daughter can recognize herself in her mother is when her mother is a parties. Then she is just Nina. If the daughter is an illegitimated child then the mother can not reveal it because of her religion.
It is heartbreaking that you have to see everything in back flash before you realize that something should have been done differently. Facades can be put up to hide secrets but when you least expect it, it is too late to reveal them. The mother dies with her secret and leaves the daughter with a never ending feeling of reproach that she did not ask her mother what she wanted to tell her that day in the living room. She knows that she should have done many things differently but now she only has a gravestone to visit. It should not bee necessity that people die before we open up our minds and think if we could do things differently. Maybe the next secret, which will bee buried under a gravestone, is yours.