On Pale Green Walls Essay

994 words 4 pages
On Pale Green Walls
B: Analysis and interpretation of ”On Pale Green Walls”
Word count: 969
Clare Wigfall’s short story”On Pale Green Walls” explores some of the most important aspects of growing up as a child. It explores concepts such as the curiosity of a child and the relationship between adult and child, the importance of there being a good understanding between the two, and the jealousy and misunderstandings that come as a result of a bad relationship. Life is harsh and full of disappointments, especially growing up as a child while being neglected by your parents. The mute protagonist of the story, Violet, is forced to realise this at a very early age. We follow Violet through this moment of realization.

During a church
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But instead her parents just get angry at her every time she does something to offend them. “[...] my mother tugged me back to her side with an irritated, “Violet”” It is also because of this that she looks up to Mother Mary in the way that she does. She sees in Mother Mary the mother she wants her own mother to be, someone who doesn’t criticize her, someone who supports her and someone who is always there for her. In short someone who will love her unconditionally. She is in turn jealous of anyone else who gets the love and attention she so bitterly wants. “[...]I stared at that baby’s face and hated it as I’d never hated anything before.”

The Mother Mary is thus the symbol of the mother that Violet wants her own mother to be: attentive, kind and caring. Mother Mary is her motherly ideal. Meanwhile the baby Jesus is a symbol of Violet’s jealousy and an expression of all the things that she wants, but doesn’t have. The symbolism in the story is used to express the relationship between Violet and her mother.

This is greatly illustrated by the ending. After Violet destroys the picture of the baby Jesus her mother is disappointed in Violet, whereas she always became angry previously. “[...]”Violet!” sobbed my mother. “Violet!” Her voice was a thin wail.” After seeing the disappointment in her mother Violet realised at a tender age that her mother would never become the mother she wanted her to be. This epiphany made her


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