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Forgiveness in Families
Transcript of Forgiveness in Families
By Alice Munro
Project by Michaela Teigen, Nick Taylor, Noah Bloomfield and Elisa Du
The conflict presented in this story is between Val and herself. She is very sure of her opinion on her brother. In her mind he is obviously immature, extremely selfish and cannot be helped. The conflict arises when she sees that her mother still appreciates what Cam did for her, even though it was his fault she ended up in the hospital. Val felt unexpectedly sad about her mother coming out unharmed. Probably because she was hoping it would teach Cam a lesson, or show everyone how bad he truly was. Instead she was the one who had the realization. She realized that Cams intentions were always good. She also discovered that she may have been the bad guy in a lot of cases. All of this was over layed with the obvious conflict of Val and Cam, though Cam never showed any sign of being aware or involved in the conflict.
An example of Situational irony in this story is the Mother, she keeps saying how hard working Cam is. However, throughout the story we learn that all Cam seems to do is mooch of the mother and even as a child wouldn't go to school and would just watch movies all day
The most obvious example of symbolism is of course Cam and his religious group dancing. While the mother is sick, Cams' religious group refuses to stop dancing until news came that the mother was getting better, this symbolizes Cams passion and willingness despite the circumstances. Another example of Symbolism is the plastic plants mentioned in the story, these symbolize the Narrators frustration at how no matter what you do you can't cheat death.
The character that Cam is perceived to be is quite biased because it is from the 1st person perspective of Val. It is very likely that this isn’t the definition of who he is and that Val is just describing a lot of his weak experiences. She never highlighted any of the good characteristics he had. In the beginning of the story
Throughout Cam’s life he can be characterized as quite reliant and dysfunctional. As a kid he stayed home frequently because he had serious asthma so he got to live a very lax lifestyle. He did not spend much time in his jobs. When he was working at the movie theater he had to quit right away because he developed darkness-phobia and then at the Bus Depot he quit after the second day even though he had different stories every day after he came home. Worked on his cousins farm but eventually left because “his cousins were religious and always after his soul.” Later on he got offered a job in Quebec. However he was still asking his mother for money. Later on he sent a letter saying that the job had folded yet he did not send back the money. He was going to start a turkey farm with two friends but that to did not work out either. At one point he even got engaged although he called it off and lied to her. He never committed to anything in his life, and this bothered his sister.
A major theme found in this story was the realization that people, including ourselves, are not always how we assume. the character Val goes through moments of self discovery as well as discovers things about her brother she overlooked in the past. Although crucial moments in our lives often trigger us to begin the journey of self-discovery, it is important to reflect on ourselves when confronted with problems or difficulties before we make a judgment about others.
Matters of Choice
Figures of Speech
The biggest shift within the story is when Cam gets their Mother onto a vegetable diet and comes home one night to find her unconscious. At the hospital Cam invited a bunch of hippies and they started to do a peculiar dance to help their Mother. In the morning Val got a call saying that her mother would be fine however she doesn’t exactly respond well to this news and that lead her to realize a flaw within her character.
. Valerie does not really spend much time describing herself however it is quite easy to evaluate the fact that she is uptight based on the fact that a lot of her brother’s life events seemed to annoy her greatly. After the event with her mother in the hospital she realizes that she really is not much better than her brother and she goes through a bit of a self-evaluation stage. She realized that she was looking for every little detail to blame her brother and when she found out that her mother would be okay she was almost disappointed by it because she might have used her mother’s death as the big reason why it was logical to despise her brother. When she realized what she was doing and how unfair she was being it really opened her eyes. Since that time she felt insecure on who she was and how she acted.
Val is most heavily conflicted with the feelings that she has for her brother. Although he has really done nothing to hurt her she still tried to find every reason she could to criticize him. After the incident with her mother she realizes that she is not better than him and if anything she is a worse person than him. By the end of the story she is conflicted and doesn’t know what to feel. She feels guilt and even though she knows she should feel nothing but happiness.
When Val looks at her brother all she sees is the annoying irresponsible man she thinks he is. She has tunnel vision. She is so sure her view of him is how he is, she doesn't see that he is in fact a caring, kind man who simply lives life in a different way from her. Not necessarily in a bad way.
This is how Val probably sees her brother. As a goofy, dirty hippie who bums money off people.In reality his being a "hippie" is much more spiritual than anything.
Cal and Cam are total opposites. Val grew up, moved out got a job, got married, became independent. On the other hand Cam never really matured, moved in and out, can't hold down a job and was contently asking for money.
"Boy" throughout the story is often associated with Cam due to his child-like state.
"Idiot" is another word associated with Cam simply because the Narrator thinks of her brother as one.
The Story does not use a lot of Imagery apart from of a couple examples, one being "A pounding Sing-Song." this shows the continuation of the song at high volumes for a length of time. Cam is described in a very detailed way. The way he looks, (a robe wearing hippie) can easily be pictured dancing around a waiting room.
The tone of Val toward Cam was indignant and disdainful, but after the turning point of her mother’s illness, the tone became calm and optimistic.
The tone toward Val’s mother was loving and disapproving, but when the turning point occurred, it was ambivalent and more indifferent.
The tone toward Haro was adoring and respectful, and after the turning point, it also became more approving.
The tone toward crucial turning point was gloomy, despairing and expectant, but after the good news about Val’s mother’s illness, it became disappointed and frightened.
Val had a intense internal conflict. After her mother got out of the hospital she questions everything she believed to be true about herself. She always thought she was a good person with strong morals but she looked at herself differently after that.
After the ordeal with her mother Val saw herself differently. She questioned if she was as good a person as she thought she was, or that all that was jsut what she wanted to see.