“A Family Man” by V.S. Pritchett
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The writer of A Family Man has managed to make the story interesting and entertaining by the nature of its content, the progression of the story, and the different view points we look through.
The beginning of the story is about the entrance of Mrs Cork, and it can already capture the attention of readers, since instead of Mr Cork came a large ponderous woman. Berenices affair with William is on the verge to be discovered. When Berenice learnt that the visitor is none other than Mrs Cork, her wrist went weak and her hand drooped on the door handle. We would be stepping into Berenices shoes and experience the palpable effect of Berenices fear of being revealed by Mrs Cork. Mrs Cork shouted at Berenice My husband! Dont try and soft-soap me with all that twaddle. And I know what you and he are up to. He comes every Thursday. Hes been here since half past two. The writers description of Mrs Corks effusion of frustration and anger also leads us to keep on reading just to know what will happen. The writers metaphoric description of Mrs Cork and the flute, she grabbed it and swung it above her head as if it were a weapon, shows the aggression of Mrs Cork.
As the lies about her connection with William by Berenice are building on, the fear of the truth being exposed increases. Berenice herself is also astonished, even excited, by a lie so vast.Through flashbacks by Berenice, we know how she thinks of Mr and Mrs Cork all along. But her changing impression on both of them becomes an unusually interesting part to read. Before answering doors, she has to call out to her father, since William told her to do this because she was a woman living on her own. William is pictured as a chivalrous man who cares about Berenice so much to risk her getting hurt in any way. Berenice also thinks highly of Williams endearing demeanour, by saying he had the kind of shadowed handsomeness that easily gleams with guilt. But after meeting Mrs Cork, she imagines William himself changed. His good looks began to look commonplace and shady.
And he looked hangdog and dragging his feet as obediently he followed her. This knocks Mr Cork off the pedestal and readers will be attracted to this sudden twist of Berenices reveries. Also, at first Mrs Cork is depicted as She was his wife as raven-haired, dark-eyed woman and longed to meet her., but after the encounter with the real person, she becomes this balloon-like giant, firstbabyish and then shouting accusations, the dreamt-of Florence vanished.The lifting of Berenices veil of delusion also provides the readers with a better view of the truth. When Mrs Cork hands over the billet-doux written by Rosie Glowitz, Berenice realized Williams perfidy and is shocked, Berenice felt giddy and cold. The chasm between herself and mrs cork closed up.
And at once it seems to her that William had never been to her flat, that he had never been her lover. The love turns to hate; anger of Mrs Cork abates and reconciles with Berenice. The unexpected turns the story takes are like TV soap opera, without clear borders, endlessly leading from and into other complications, other plots. When the Brewsters meet Berenice, a whole new episode seems to be beginning. There is always something for the readers to look forward to.
Not only is this an entertaining story, but also a glimpse into the characters wed like to know more of. The absence of William and Rosie gives us plenty of room for imagination. It imbues us with strong curiosity to know the perspective of the title character who doesnt appear and the culprit of Mrs Corks anger. Mrs Breswters voice is also a major shift of viewpoint, the first time we see Berenice through another characters eyes, the first time we see her hair. Futhermore, Mrs Brewster is answering back on behalf of all married people on whose lives Berenice is a sort of patronizing parasite, she says Berenice is getting odd. She ought to get married. I wish she wouldnt swoosh her hair around like that. Shed look better if she put it up. when all Berenice thought of married people is that they are awful. Readers can think beyond the presented viewpoint, and imagine how the story might look from other positions, rendering the story more interesting and vivid.