Francis Weed Essay: Open Insubordination And Criticism

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3.2. Open Insubordination and Criticism Although Francis Weed has some contradictions to the surrounding reality, he does not express his criticism openly. Only a few individuals in Shady Hill dare or venture to rebel against the system. In fact, there are only three characters that disturb the tranquillity of Shady Hill: a dog called Jupiter, a pet behaving like a stray; a young girl Gertrude, actually characterised as a stray (Cheever 335); and lastly, Clayton Thomas, the only fatherless boy in Shady Hill. Being a dog, Jupiter is an unconscious agent: With his behaviour he unintentionally disrupts the presentability of the place he happens to live in. Obviously, he does not protest against it out of conviction: He enjoys his dog’s life running through other people’s gardens and stealing their barbecue provisions. Another at least partly unintentional troublemaker is Gertrude, a stray child disturbing the measured reality of Shady Hill by wearing shabby clothes, wandering through the town and returning home only when is explicitly told to. Due to these clearly not female mode of behaviour, Gertrude is, as Dessner puts it, “the story’s satiric rejection of Shady Hill’s conventional domesticity and the femininity associated with it” (62).…show more content…
Hipkiss 584). Indeed, as a minor character Clayton is given a surprisingly memorable voice apart from being rather a curiosity in Shady Hill, a place without past: “Clayton’s father had been killed in the war, and the young man’s fatherlessness surrounded him like an element” (Cheever 338). This character voices the dissatisfaction with and the disapproval of suburbia in general and Shady Hill in
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