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Margaret Laurence's A Bird in the House - The theme of entrapment

A-Level: English

Title:  Margaret Laurence's A Bird in the House - The theme of entrapment
Description  Margaret Laurence's A Bird in the House - The theme of entrapment
Word Count:  1500


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Similarly, Aunt Edna is a character that almost lets the opportunity to attain personal freedom pass by her. Aunt Edna spent her life trapped in the Brick house with Grandfather Conner and his power, she did not get any freedom while she was with him. Vanessa's mother and Aunt Edna had to seek freedom in the whispered conversations they had in the kitchen. Aunt Edna also had some momentary freedom when she was having an affair with Jimmy Lorimer. This freedom was taken away from her when the affair ended. So, once again Aunt Edna was trapped by Grandfather Conner. In "Jericho's Brick Battlements" Aunt Edna is faced with the opportunity to be free of Grandfather Conner, when she is presented with this opportunity she is not sure of whether she should take it or not. Wes Grigg is a character that is introduced in this story, he wants to marry Aunt Edna. At this point in the story it is evident that Beth (Vanessa's mother) is persuading Aunt Edna to marry him and get out of the house. Beth explains to Aunt Edna that she has had her freedom, and that it ended when Ewen died. Aunt Edna take's this into consideration and says: "'I guess I've got used to being back here in the old dungeon. It's strange, Beth. Father's impossible, and certainly no one has said it oftener than I have...I have the feeling that the absolute worst wouldn't happen here, ever," ("A Bird in the House," p.173). Aunt Edna knows that she has been trapped all the time that she has lived with Grandfather Conner however, when she has the opportunity to be free she doesn't feel that it is needed. Aunt Edna is a character in the compilation of stories that after many chances reaches freedom. Freedom from Grandfather Conner the person that made her feel like there was no where to run, she was finally free of him when she left his house. Therefore, it is evident that unlike other characters Aunt Edna reaches personal freedom at the end of the last story.

All in all, it is clear that Vanessa, Ewen and Aunt Edna all reach personal freedom, however only to a small extent. These characters at some point had freedom, or they had a way in which they could be free of the things that went on around them. Vanessa wrote in order to get away from the harshness of the life, it was an escape from the reality that she lived at home. Ewen had personal freedom when he was away at war, he was away from home and this was a time in which he was happy.
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