The Salt Garden


The Salt Garden Essay, Research Paper

Short Story’s Essay

In the short story, The Salt Garden, written by Atwood, Alma has a realization that the balance of power in her relationship with Theo and Mort can not last forever. There are many instances of this loss of this power balance throughout the story. In about the middle of this story, the narrator revels to the readers that both Theo and Mort possessed their homes and claimed them as property, much the same as they do with their women. At this point the narrator is displaying to the audience the inconsequential amount of control or power that Alma really posses in these partnerships. Towards the completion of the story, Alma conveys to the audience that she is content with things the way that they are, being with both men, which she later realizes can not continue for long and there is nothing she can say or do to prevent it from happening that way. At the conclusion of the story, when Alma comes to the realization that her and Theo will not be together forever, it is this point in the story when she really begins to see how her power in the relationship is not balanced and how really she has no control on the outcome.

Munro’s short story, Miles City Montana, displays a distinct loss of power when the narrator is confronted with the unendurable thought of not being capable of protecting her child from death. The story opens with the narrator’s recollection of a childhood memory of a little boy drowning near her home. At the boy’s funeral she also recalls thinking of how no one, not ever his father, could have saved him from his demise, yet it wasn’t until later on in life that she realized what this had actually meant. The instant in her life that she came to this realization, was not until she, herself was put in a position where her child’s death was non preventable, even by her. It was at this time that she figured out that, even as a parent, your power over your children is limited and there will come a time when not even the parents can protect their children from obliteration. Although Meg, the narrator’s daughter, did not perish, the event frightened the narrator enough to come to this resolution, parents possess the power to create a child and in doing so, have also created the power to destroy the child. This is a balance of power, created by parents, that can’t last.

Man Descending, a story written by Vanderhaeghe, is based around a man’s endeavor for power in his relationship, which throws the balance of power in the relationship off course. This story begins with an obvious display of power by Victoria towards her husband Ed. This is the point of the story where the power is exposed as out of balance, since Victoria is in full supremacy of the happenings in the house, including her and Ed’s relationship, and what Ed does in it and even outside of it. Victoria later displays more of her powerfulness when it is reveled that she is seeing a coworker behind Ed’s back, which Ed knows all about but dose nothing to discontinue it. Throughout the story, Victoria is continually commanding, bossing, and even demanding things from Ed that he is not willing to depart with( i.e. his way of life, habits, etc.). The power is eventual restored after their circumstantial break up, which allowed Ed’s power within himself to be rejuvenated. This extreme unbalance of power is an excellent example of how the balance can not last.

Callaghan’s, The Black Queen, displays the relationship of two men, Hughes and McCrae, whose power balance is sent astray by another person, another man. This unbalancing occurs in the stamp shop that they often attend accompanied by one another. It is a remark by McCrae, taken the wrong way by Hughes, as they gaze at a stamp of Queen Victoria in a black gown, and an unjustified glare by the owner of the emporium that sends Highes into a envious frenzy, creating a power struggle between the two men. It is this unbalancing of power that nearly leads to the separation of their, already, extremely long relationship. Although the balance is swiftly restored when McCrae enters a social convergence of friends with the Black Queen plastered onto his forehead, readers still fell as though the incident may have further repercussions in the near future. For this reason the statement can be made that the present balance of power can not last, even in a long, loving relationship such as this one.

Matter of Balance is a story depicting a man’s struggle with the unbalance of power involving him and his perspective on people in society. This conflict occurs when the narrator is inadvertently involved in game of chase, where he is the target of a duo of bikers looking for trouble wherever they can find it. It is at this point where the narrator is confronted with the harsh reality of the presents of unbalanced power in society, located in the form of two, very large, bikers. It is this distressing reality that forces the narrator to fend for his life and try to maintain his remaining power over the men. This struggle is also resolved at the end of the story, but in this case, the balance of power is transferred from the bikers to the narrator once the bikers are near death. At this point the author, Valgardson, relieves to the readers that once the balance of power is restored, it is more than possible to unbalance it again into the other direction, turning the tables on the situation, thus creating another power struggle to be resolved. Valgardson is simply paraphrasing the point that the presents of balance can’t last.


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