Tension And Violence Essay Research Paper IntroductionThe

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Tension And Violence Essay, Research Paper Introduction The purpose of this essay is to study various kinds of tension and violence existing between men and women in short stories Her Table Spread by Elizabeth Bowen, Rope by Katherine Anne Porter and The Time of Death by Alice Munro. In my essay I will view the character features of the principal characters seen mainly from the point of view of the opposite sex. It’s my intention to show that the author’s sex influences the contents of the short stories. I,m also going to find out whether the violence is physical or mental. Her Table spread by Elizabeth Bowen will be discussed in chapter one. I will prove that there is one very dominating woman who, perhaps unknowingly and unintentionally, uses violence against the

principal male character of the story. I’m also going to show that the man, who creates most tension between a man and a woman and who in fact may have the leading role, is only mentioned by name, he is not in the story itself. The essay will also show that a romantic tension between the principal characters can only be experienced once in the whole story. In chapter two Katharine Anne Porter’s short story Rope will be discussed and the fact will be proved that an insignificant incident can lead to very serious violence and various kinds of tensions between a married couple. In addition the tension comes into being through what is not said that is through repressed feelings. I will also speak about the fact how persons through mental violence come back to the ‘original’

situation between two lovers. To a situation where tension must be explained as love tension but where there are many things not spoken about and not settled. Alice Munro’s story The Time of Death tells about very strong feelings of women and how men are perfectly disregarded. In this story men are underestimated and the violence is not pointed at an individual but men as a whole, as a sex. 1. Her Table Spread Mr Alban is supposed to be the protagonist in the short story. He has been invited to the castle to some party because there is some tension between him and Miss Cuffe. That’s what the author lets the reader believe. In reality there is no tension and if there has been, it has been experienced by Miss Cuffe alone. This is clearly proved by the aggressive and hostile

thoughts of Mr Alban right in the beginning of the story “Coming early for dinner, red satin dress cut low, she attacked the silence with loud laughter before he had spoken” (p. 73). Especially the last sentence and the word “attacked” reflects Mr Alban’s hostile attitude to Miss Cuffe. The situation itself is quite harmless but Mr Alban has a great dislike for Valeria coming into the room and he feels that Valeria is aggressive. Also in some other way Mr Alban seems to have some hatred or bitterness towards the situation and women. His words “her ox-eyes…” (p. 73) express deep contempt for Valeria. With these few word it’s quite obvious that valeria is a pretty woman but Mr Alban only wants to see something negative in her. The women’s uninterested, not so

negative, attitude comes clearly up many times. The ladies are talking with each other when Mrs Treye all of a sudden asks Mr Alban “Have you been to Malta, Mr Alban” (p. 75)? With this loose sentence it’s clearly shown that Mr Alban is nothing compared to the officers in the destroyer. The same is repeated in a sentence “… Mr Alban, a Viennese waltz” (p. 77). Only in one short passage one can sense tension connected to love and romance. At the same time there seems to be some erotic tension as well. Valeria has gone out to wait Mr Garrett to arrive. By mistake she talks to Mr Alban as if she were talking to Mr Garrett. Despite Mr Alban’s explanation Valeria won’t believe that it is a question of a wrong person. ‘Hi!’ she croaked. Then: ‘You are there! I