The Vernissage

This short story was written in 2008, so it is a quite new one. It is about Alex and his family. At the beginning of this short story, Alex’ mother is picking him up from school; they are talking about everyday experiences about his school and her new bought dress. The mother has bought a new dress for the Vernissage she is going to attend to with her husband the following evening. Therefore Alex is going to stay home and doing his homework with company of his babysitter Anne-Marie. At six o’clock his father is coming home.
At this hour Alex is laying in his parent’s bedroom underneath his parent’s bed listening to his mother getting ready for the coming evening. When his father gets in to the room a conversation with few words begins. At the ending Alex’s parents walks out and he goes into the bathroom and begin brushing his teeth even though he is soon going to have dinner. As we already know has Alex been for school and he gets into his mother’s car with a bit trouble because of the group of mothers waiting outside the school gates.
He is still a boy who loves banana sandwiches. Yet he still wants to grow older and no longer be considered a child (p. , l. 48) “There was something about banana sandwiches, sweet and soft, that made him think of babyfood. Maybe he was getting too old for banana sandwiches,” He loves his mother and has a better relationship to her than he has to his father, he talks and has a lot more contact to his mother shown throughout the whole short story. Considered his bad relationship to his father a nice example is shown (p. 3, l. 100) “He hoped his father would not come looking for him – but that would be unusual,” Therefore it seems like his father doesn’t care that much for his son.

Alex is also a very curious boy, or else he wouldn’t be asking so many questions to his mother so many times. After Alex has slipped into his parent’s bedroom he lies underneath the bed, and he is watching his mother while she is getting dressed and ready. In this scene we see the relationship between Alex’s parents. His father is going up the stairs to meet his wife.
They are married, yet it feels like there is some sort of distance between them (p. 3, l. 107) “The two pairs of legs kept their distance, about three feet between them,” Alex’s mother is ery supportive towards her husband, he seems to be quite nervous for this evening (p. 3, l. 109) ““How are you feeling about tonight? ” “OK. It should all go OK, I think. ” “Of course it will. It will be great, John. ”” Alex’s mother is searching for some sort of accept from Alex’s father whom she cannot achieve; she bought the purple dress for his sake, to look good for his special night and because he once said, the colour suited her, she listens to her husband, and it means a lot to her to come close to him.
He does not listen to her (p. 3, l. 18) ““I told you I was going to buy a new dress; for tonight. Remember? ” “Oh, right. ” “Do you like it? ” “The dress? ”” In this line we can see how he seems not to care that much for his whole family. Alex’s father keeps a certain distance to his own wife, and perhaps she feels shut out of his mind. She tries to get closer to him, (p. 4, l. 148) “The woman took the hand and cupped it round her left breast. She held it there, as though it were a weak runt of a thing. ” She wants her husband to touch her, but still this seems not to make the biggest impression on him either.
As the main theme I believe we have lost love. We see a mother, a wife who wants her husband’s accept and she wants to feel him touching her not to reject her hand and begging. The mothers dress is purple; this stands for spirituality and is connected with the blood of sacrifice. Therefore I see the dress and the colour stands for her sacrifice to her husband. She truly wants to be a good and caring wife, support him in every way, she can. The white crepe paper stands for pureness and a new beginning. It can also mean loneliness and despair.

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