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ENG215H1 (117)
Sarah Caskey (114)


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University of Toronto St. George
Sarah Caskey

2.7.12 "My Heart is Broken" Mavis Gallant (sp?)  Gallant's style: Affectless, emotional trauma, etc. o Themes: difficulty of communication, disappoints form misguided expectations, heartbreaks from the inability to bridge differences.  MHiB is set in Canada and deals with the above mentioned issues/themes.  Deals with sexual assault.  Narrative: how are we first introduced to Mrs. Thompson and Jeanie? o Mrs. Thompson - the main shock of her life is something that is unrelated to her.  She might be a trivial woman. o Mrs. Thompson talk a lot and Jeanie has no response. Shows the dynamic of their relationship. o Reference to Jean Harlow. What is the connection with Jeanie?  Mrs. Thompson is not described physically, but Jeanie is objectified by her body parts. She's silent, objectified. Her posture resembles the poses that pin-up girls like Jean Harlow would have had. o We never learn Mrs. Thompson's first name. Large age difference with Jeanie. They are removed. o Assumptions about the two?  Jeanie is more lightened, more liberal.  Mrs. Thompson is a product of her time.  BUT Gallant tries to show that the age difference doesn't quite a huge gap between the two.  Story represents the time - The Depression. o Men not giving up bus seat for a woman. Loss of job = loss of masculinity.  Fading of gender roles.  Mrs. Thompson given canned stuff and preserves - metaphor of her ideas of sexual assault. o She's reserved lots of these canned stuffs and preserves - from her mother.  Jeanie's bottle of Cutex nail polish - shows pointiness in a certain direction. o She struggles in the world that she lives in. o Idolizes Jean Harlot and has Mrs. Thompson's old-fashioned views of sexual conduct. o The Cutex shows the divide - cute and sex.  Shows Jeanie's challenge of understanding the culture that gives her diverse message about sex.  References to romanticize/idolize or sanitize sexual relations. o Hollywood culture does both - sexualizes idols, but romanticizes sex in Hollywood movies. o Pg. 132-middle - reference to the dwarf songs that plays in Mrs. Thompson's gramophone.  Romanticized reference to a couple spooning in a park.
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