Low visibility - analyse

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En analyse af teksten "Low Visibility" udfra kravene der stilles i det tilhørende opgavesæt. Den henvender sig således til dem, der sidder med det officielle eksamenssæt, hvori analyse af "Low Visibility" indgår.
Uddannelse: STX 2. år
Fag: Engelsk
Tilføjet af: aaaa202
Tilføjet: 06-05-2010
Type: Analyse
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B: Low Visibility
22/4-2010
Through history drastic change has always happened through action. The French revolution would not
taken place if it hadn’t been for the action of thousands of unsatisfied rebels, the 2nd World War would not
have ended, if it hadn’t been for the massive effort of several countries, the Cold War would still have been
upon us, had it not been for the immense contribution from hundreds of thousands of young soldiers.
Indeed change provides action. And not just on a large scale; if an individual person wants to change
something, he or she will indeed need to take action and have the courage to face the dangers it might
involve.
Just how important taking action can be, is dramatically demonstrated in Margaret Murphy’s story “Low
Visibility”, where the suppressed wife Laura stands up against her violent, dominant husband.
The plot revolves around 2 persons, a man and woman, sitting on their couch watching the news. We soon
discover that the man, named John, and the woman, whose name we aren’t told, are husband and wife.
The news broadcast a violent protest action taking place in their city, which the man is watching eagerly,
commenting on the barbaric behavior of the rebels every now and then. The woman keeps quiet, because
she doesn’t dare to say that she actually feels a great admiration for the people, who have gathered to
protest. Why she fears to say her opinion is revealed seconds later, as John deliberately drills his fingers
into her thigh, causing her tremendous pain. Because indeed John is anything but a loving and caring
husband. As the plot evolves we learn more and more about his violent, demoralizing tendencies and his
dictatorial way of controlling their marriage.
And it is John’s dictatorship and the woman’s struggle to survive it that becomes the essential problem in
the story.
As the protesting crowd approaches their part of the city, the woman has hidden herself from John.
Hidden, she watches how he goes down to face the angry crowd, and how he becomes involved in a fight.
As she moments later goes down to the street herself, she finds him lying on the back with his head
bleeding and crying for help. As John reaches out, begging her to help him, she chooses to walk away. She is
seconds later exposed to an enormous explosion sending cascades of glass and rubble in her direction. But
she walks away unharmed, and for the first time she is referred to by her real name: Laura.
Laura, referred to as a nameless woman most of the time, is inevitably the main character in our story, as it
is her thoughts and problems, which drive the plot. As suggested earlier Laura lives a very depressing life, as
basically everything is controlled by her violent husband. But she hasn’t always had this role. As we follow
her memories, we learn that she once was a widely respected and popular girl - or as described in the
story: “She wasn’t always like this. She used to be a girl, who could set a room to laughter.”
However the many years of being held “hostage” by her husband have changed her. Now she doesn’t dare
to say anything nor do anything that her husband might not appreciate because of the possible
consequences. She has succumbed to a simple object - a tool, socially as well as sexually - for him. This is
clearly outlined, as John asks for her opinion about the news: “She is wordless, stripped of language, of the
liberty of expression. She doesn’t know the right thing to say, because he changes the rule every time. So
she says nothing. It’s safer - less painful.”
When the situation turns in the end- i.e. when he’s lying on the ground begging her for help - she is
suddenly unsure what to do. She now has the power to revenge 4 years of violent tyranny. Yet, she refuses
to succumb to the same behavior that she in so many years was subject to and instead walks away -
however free and unburdened, as she has now recaptured her freedom. Margaret Murphy shows this by
now referring to her by her real name.
Her husband John has the complete opposite life-story to tell. As young he was always the outsider.
The sort of person who always slouched at the edge of a group, eager to be a part of it, but never really was
accepted and respected by the others. And exactly this depressing role was the reason for his and Laura’s
marriage in the first place. She wanted to help him, to teach him how to interact with others socially. And
he was hoping for about the same; that her popularity would make him popular too - or as our narrator
puts it: “He thought that her good humour would seep into him, breaching the walls of his defences, that
happiness was something that could be absorbed, as a plant takes in water, by osmosis.”
Yet it did not work out the way they planned. He simply didn’t have the abilities: “He hadn’t the intelligence
August 2.x
1
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