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Lecture 5

Week 5- My Heart is Broken and The Wednesday Circle.docx

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Department
English
Course
ENG215H1
Professor
Sarah Caskey
Semester
Winter

Description
My Heart is Broken- Mavis Gallant (Jeannie, Mrs. Thompson, Vern, Mr. Sherman) - Introduced as silent character o Passive and objectified(described by separate body parts) o Doesn’t respond to Mrs. Thompson’s revelation of her most shocking moment o Town is silent  Country where nothing exists  No towns btwn camp and railway for miles - Other’s respond by ignoring the issues, change topic o Ppl evade sexual topics an live in comm. where it isn’t discussed o Mrs. Thompson’s most shocking moment is Jean’s death  Inappropriate response, doesn’t have meaningful thing to compare to  Doesn’t understand Jeannie o Canned and preserved, Ms. Thompson’s values and judgements given by mom, things you put a lid on and don’t  Potentially explain her experiences and thus her culturally developed values/beliefs o Ms. Thompson is ignorant, asks if she used Javel, showing she’s more concerned with being tainted physically rather than emotionally - Jeannie is blamed for what happened o Mrs. Thompson blames Jeannie for what happened  Should have followed her advice and kept home  Shouldn’t have behaved like a little girl, all dressed up and dancing around  Shouldn’t have gone for a walk  Jeannie let it happen, could’ve protected herself o Ms. Thompson has false assumptions of what is rape (ex. no man alone can do it, dressing proactively, occurs by soldiers or strangers) o Mr. Sherman tells Vern that that he’s had to leave 2x cuz of her  That no man can rape alone, either story is invented or 2 men o Jeannie says she just went for a walk and didn’t mean to cause trouble  No one believes her - Difficulty communicating o Husband keeps silent about it - Keep their violent incidents a secret o Mrs. Thompson says not to say name  Pushes Jeannie at the same time and then suggests names herself  Another man shouldn’t be thrown out of work cuz of what happened - Community fails to help Jeannie o Community is alienated so that characters create their own world  Live in a culture that’s being influenced by Hollywood o Heartbreak from Jeannie’s inability to bridge diff btwn cultures, generations and gender o The comm. doesn’t do anything to get justice for what happened to Jeannie, rather it is kept quiet, and dealt with by Jeannie and her husband leaving town  Rape is criminal offense, but Mr. Sherman threatens Vern that if they press charges he’ll never work again - Jeannie internalizes and excepts the abuse o Jeannie has internalized the prevailing culture’s view of woman as objects o Have to live with what’s happened to her, with a broken heart, never receiving justice - Jeannie makes mistakes in judging others o Jeannie drove around with a German after her husband had come back from WWII, fighting against Germany o What Jeannie sees as innocent is read diff by others but she doesn’t realize this o At end she says that she would have accepted the sexual violence if he would have been nice, it’s not like the movies  Disappointments brought on by misguided expectations, rape is romanticized in the movies but not so in real lif
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