Beverley Farmer passage analysis

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“Could death and decay be growing where the child had grew so soon after?” Throughout Beverley Farmer’s “ Collected stories” readers are presented with raw emotions and the depths of human thought. Farmer simplistically contrasts both the radiating goodness and unbearable brutality of life in her stories “Inheritance”, “A Woman in a Mirror” and “A Woman with Black Hair”. Her female protagonists are confronted with death, illness and rape but deny their feelings of isolation and emotional displacement and instead are prompted to delve into the depths of their inner self. As the characters question their identity amid crisis and embittered memories, the stories progress to a climax in which a decision is made about the future. Farmer highlights the inner resilience of her characters as they come to realise their place in the world. In a selected passage from “A Woman in a Mirror”, readers are confronted with a nameless protagonist, a universal emblem of society’s tendency to ignore the torment of illness and death rather than face the truth. The protagonist’s underlying tendency to refuse to acquiesce to the very possible thought of “cancer of the cervix” preferring to “take risks”, “I never took risks” appears to have tailgated her apparent “solitude”. Farmer’s focus on emotional disconnection is a reiterated one, whether it be in effect of the internal isolation, such as “A man in the Laundrette” or the result of cultural displacement “Ismini” and “Pumpkin”. The protagonist’s self-pity is often stressed in her reference of time, “Time was andante” as she procrastinates her shear loneliness without addressing the common cause “Peter had died”, preferring to delve into the intrinsics of the event as the “car glided under the lorry”, rather than acquiesce to the reality of her impeding future. The non-linear structure of her stories also emphasise her
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