The Wedding Present Essay

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In the short story “The Wedding Present” by Neil Gaiman the author uses certain metafictional elements. By describing the marriage of the protagonists, Belinda and Gordon, in an idealistic way the reader is deliberately reminded that it is fictional. The fictional nature is further emphasised by a “wedding present” in the form of a letter that portrays their life in a more realistic, but tragic way. By making use of magic realism the contents of the letter changes spontaneously. This short story poses the question whether human beings can be truly happy in relationships. Belinda has sacrificed her career for the sake of her husband’s career and ponders on what she has sacrificed after his death. This essay will focus on the structure of the narrative and the subsequent characterisation in order to highlight human relationships and question the possibility of true happiness. The story makes use of a third-person narrative. Proof hereof is found in the following sentence “…Belinda and Gordon got down to the business of unwrapping the wedding presents and writing their thank you letters…” (Gaiman 61). The third-person narrative provides an objective perspective and enables the two parallel stories to be presented more clearly. The story is not presented chronologically. It commences with Gordon and Belinda opening their wedding presents after they have returned from their honeymoon. They find an envelope on which “Gordon and Belinda’s Wedding” is written. Inside is a letter with a description of their wedding day. With the opening of the letter the story reverts to their wedding day in October. Belinda is described as lovely and Gordon as nervous, but proud (Gaiman 62). The letter describes the service and the reception clearly. Belinda’s reaction to the letter is that “it’s very sweet and it’s very thoughtful” (Gaiman 63). From her reaction it can be deducted that

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