Red Dress­1946 by Alice Munro Dance of the happy shades

Name

Institution

Instructor

Date

Red Dress­1946 by Alice Munro Dance of the happy shades

My study will involve the story Red Dress which involves the story of a girl and her mother. I found the story interesting because the author flashes back and reflects on how at the age of thirteen the narrator’s mother made her a dress. The story is captivating and entertaining from the introduction to the main narrative. It gives an insight and commentary about the human life and hence relevant to the normal life set up. The story characterizes the story about the mother of the narrator.

In the book, the narrator in the story talks about her mother and therefore brings the characters in action. She gives a story of how her mother used to make dresses for her during Christmas. Her mother and her friend Lonnie look forward to it but she is not interested. We are able to deduce that the narrator’s mother was not really a good sewer. She was not very keen in the points of tailoring and liked to make things; which were different. At the beginning of the story, the story starts with an inspiration where she gets an idea and from that moment, the pleasure which she enjoyed runs downhill (Munro, Alice 38). She cannot come up with a pattern that would suit her. Therefore, there were no patterns that could be able to match with the ideas which ran through her mind.

We learn that the narrator in the story who is a thirteen years old girl is afraid of leaving her childhood which she terms as safe. She tries to avoid dance in which she sees as a big test and two things happen as a result of her dance. She realizes that nothing much is really wrong with her, which is a psychological feeling. She had a charming attitude before the dance and later changes the mood during the dance. Her decision to change her attitude towards her mother reflects as the girl now gains a new sense of self. The girl’s discovery in the washroom about Mary Fortune, who is older also brings out a new idea that they are both doing the same thing (Munro, Alice 84). When Mary offers the narrator some cigar rete at the back of the janitor’s closet, the narrator takes it and enjoys it she gains self-confidence from the Mary’s conversation. As Raymond Bolting tries to rescue her, she is released from Mary’s boundaries and later comes back to the normal world. It seems the girl does not care for Raymond but she is just relieved like anyone else in the world.

In the story, the author tries to bring out the idea and make us conceptualize what the characters say and think. The girl in the story has been longing for popularity very much because of boredom which in the contrary she becomes terrified. Also, in the story, the girl’s dress is red, which is the theme of the title. However, the mother’s dress when she was younger was blue. This creates variety in the story and this helps to create ambition in the story of the heading theme.

The author brings out the theme of appearance, which is manifested by the red dress that the narrator in the story wears insecurity, freedom, acceptance hope, connection and also opinion. Throughout the story, the narrator reveals that she longs to be like other girls, more so like her friend Lonnie. At first, she wishes that her mother bought her a dress like that of Lonnie and wishes that her mother bought her a dress from Beale’s store rather than the home-made dress that she was given by her mother (Munro, Alice 106). As the narrator tries to fit he dress, she wishes that she was “light-boned, pale and thin just like her friend Lonnie. This aspect reveals how insecure she was with her own body image and she describes her body as “a great raw lump, clumsy and goose-pimpled”. She views her body negatively because she fears of what her peers and boys will say regarding her image.

I think the book is relevant to the readers because the author of the book tries to create a connection between the narrators and the reader. The author brings out an empathetic mood for the narrator and hence creates emotional aspects of the story. As the narrator seems to escape from her mother, she feels oppressed that there is nothing that is suggestive in the story that the narrator’s mother is oppressing her or infringing her freedom. It is just that the girl is going through some stage in her life where she feels to free herself up from the environment she is currently in and wants to outgrow her mother too and thus create a connection. I agree with the author’s opinion about the connection people make in life every day. Young people try and make connections with their social peers as well as try and cut the relationship with their parents. However, I disagree with the author that the separation from the narrator’s mother would give the girl in the story independence and happiness. Since her mother had never disagreed with her, it would be imperative to conclude that the girl would be independent, as she seeks to seek independence.

There is use of symbolism in the story which brings significance and helps the reader perceive the world in a different way. The red dress that the girl wears is associated with desire and passion and it is revealed in the book that the narrator has a very strong desire to connect with a person of the opposite gender, a boy. The author contrasts the red color with blue, which her mother won when she was young. The narrator describes her mother’s legs as ‘marked with lumps of blue green veins’ (Munro, Alice 124). The royal blue color that her mother was given could disassociate the narrator from her mother. She feels anxious to separate herself from her mother and therefore the author uses the blue color as a symbol which will help her disassociate from her mother. When the narrator becomes anxious about going to the dance, she pretends to be sick and opens the window in her bedroom, so that fresh cold air could get in to her room. This is a signal that she wants to separate herself from her mother. The girl also shares a handkerchief with Raymond, which suggests that there is connection between them, even though Raymond is unaware to it.

The work by Alice Munro is effective since it covers most human aspects as discussed through the themes in the story. I felt as if I were reading about myself, when I read the story of the thirteen-year-old girl. It gives moral lessons and suggestions about how young people face challenges in their life like denial of their bodies and how they try and free themselves from their parents. This is very normal in the lives of people within the same age group as the girl in the story. The story is not formally challenging at first since it uses little vocabulary and the new terms used are explained in the book. Thus the reader is able to relate the story fluently. The story however uses various phrases of grammar and uses features like symbolism which covers the extensive story. The themes in the story also explore other components that are relevant in the use of grammar like suspense and play. The story is captivating and the reader can read it over and over again.

The story has some impact to the reader because the narrator expresses her insecurities about how she related with her mother, how she viewed her life at high school, the Christmas dance and other issues revealed by the narrator. When the narrators interact with other people in the dance, she reevaluates her assumptions regarding what will make her happy. This creates a situation in people’s lives where they pass through similar situations and also gain ideas and feelings similar to the story like for the thirteen-year-old girl. Hence the book is effective and has impact on the reader.

References

Munro, Alice. "Red dress—1946." Dance of the Happy Shades (1977).

Munro, Alice. Dance of the happy shades. Random House, 2013.

Name

Institution

Instructor

Date

Red Dress­1946 by Alice Munro Dance of the happy shades

My study will involve the story Red Dress which involves the story of a girl and her mother. I found the story interesting because the author flashes back and reflects on how at the age of thirteen the narrator’s mother made her a dress. The story is captivating and entertaining from the introduction to the main narrative. It gives an insight and commentary about the human life and hence relevant to the normal life set up. The story characterizes the story about the mother of the narrator.

In the book, the narrator in the story talks about her mother and therefore brings the characters in action. She gives a story of how her mother used to make dresses for her during Christmas. Her mother and her friend Lonnie look forward to it but she is not interested. We are able to deduce that the narrator’s mother was not really a good sewer. She was not very keen in the points of tailoring and liked to make things; which were different. At the beginning of the story, the story starts with an inspiration where she gets an idea and from that moment, the pleasure which she enjoyed runs downhill (Munro, Alice 38). She cannot come up with a pattern that would suit her. Therefore, there were no patterns that could be able to match with the ideas which ran through her mind.

We learn that the narrator in the story who is a thirteen years old girl is afraid of leaving her childhood which she terms as safe. She tries to avoid dance in which she sees as a big test and two things happen as a result of her dance. She realizes that nothing much is really wrong with her, which is a psychological feeling. She had a charming attitude before the dance and later changes the mood during the dance. Her decision to change her attitude towards her mother reflects as the girl now gains a new sense of self. The girl’s discovery in the washroom about Mary Fortune, who is older also brings out a new idea that they are both doing the same thing (Munro, Alice 84). When Mary offers the narrator some cigar rete at the back of the janitor’s closet, the narrator takes it and enjoys it she gains self-confidence from the Mary’s conversation. As Raymond Bolting tries to rescue her, she is released from Mary’s boundaries and later comes back to the normal world. It seems the girl does not care for Raymond but she is just relieved like anyone else in the world.

In the story, the author tries to bring out the idea and make us conceptualize what the characters say and think. The girl in the story has been longing for popularity very much because of boredom which in the contrary she becomes terrified. Also, in the story, the girl’s dress is red, which is the theme of the title. However, the mother’s dress when she was younger was blue. This creates variety in the story and this helps to create ambition in the story of the heading theme.

The author brings out the theme of appearance, which is manifested by the red dress that the narrator in the story wears insecurity, freedom, acceptance hope, connection and also opinion. Throughout the story, the narrator reveals that she longs to be like other girls, more so like her friend Lonnie. At first, she wishes that her mother bought her a dress like that of Lonnie and wishes that her mother bought her a dress from Beale’s store rather than the home-made dress that she was given by her mother (Munro, Alice 106). As the narrator tries to fit he dress, she wishes that she was “light-boned, pale and thin just like her friend Lonnie. This aspect reveals how insecure she was with her own body image and she describes her body as “a great raw lump, clumsy and goose-pimpled”. She views her body negatively because she fears of what her peers and boys will say regarding her image.

I think the book is relevant to the readers because the author of the book tries to create a connection between the narrators and the reader. The author brings out an empathetic mood for the narrator and hence creates emotional aspects of the story. As the narrator seems to escape from her mother, she feels oppressed that there is nothing that is suggestive in the story that the narrator’s mother is oppressing her or infringing her freedom. It is just that the girl is going through some stage in her life where she feels to free herself up from the environment she is currently in and wants to outgrow her mother too and thus create a connection. I agree with the author’s opinion about the connection people make in life every day. Young people try and make connections with their social peers as well as try and cut the relationship with their parents. However, I disagree with the author that the separation from the narrator’s mother would give the girl in the story independence and happiness. Since her mother had never disagreed with her, it would be imperative to conclude that the girl would be independent, as she seeks to seek independence.

There is use of symbolism in the story which brings significance and helps the reader perceive the world in a different way. The red dress that the girl wears is associated with desire and passion and it is revealed in the book that the narrator has a very strong desire to connect with a person of the opposite gender, a boy. The author contrasts the red color with blue, which her mother won when she was young. The narrator describes her mother’s legs as ‘marked with lumps of blue green veins’ (Munro, Alice 124). The royal blue color that her mother was given could disassociate the narrator from her mother. She feels anxious to separate herself from her mother and therefore the author uses the blue color as a symbol which will help her disassociate from her mother. When the narrator becomes anxious about going to the dance, she pretends to be sick and opens the window in her bedroom, so that fresh cold air could get in to her room. This is a signal that she wants to separate herself from her mother. The girl also shares a handkerchief with Raymond, which suggests that there is connection between them, even though Raymond is unaware to it.

The work by Alice Munro is effective since it covers most human aspects as discussed through the themes in the story. I felt as if I were reading about myself, when I read the story of the thirteen-year-old girl. It gives moral lessons and suggestions about how young people face challenges in their life like denial of their bodies and how they try and free themselves from their parents. This is very normal in the lives of people within the same age group as the girl in the story. The story is not formally challenging at first since it uses little vocabulary and the new terms used are explained in the book. Thus the reader is able to relate the story fluently. The story however uses various phrases of grammar and uses features like symbolism which covers the extensive story. The themes in the story also explore other components that are relevant in the use of grammar like suspense and play. The story is captivating and the reader can read it over and over again.

The story has some impact to the reader because the narrator expresses her insecurities about how she related with her mother, how she viewed her life at high school, the Christmas dance and other issues revealed by the narrator. When the narrators interact with other people in the dance, she reevaluates her assumptions regarding what will make her happy. This creates a situation in people’s lives where they pass through similar situations and also gain ideas and feelings similar to the story like for the thirteen-year-old girl. Hence the book is effective and has impact on the reader.

References

Munro, Alice. "Red dress—1946." Dance of the Happy Shades (1977).

Munro, Alice. Dance of the happy shades. Random House, 2013.

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