PDF | This essay will analyze and explicate the stories in Munro's latest collection , Runaway, in order to present the reader with a description of her artistic. “Runaway” is the first story in this stunning collection, sure to be a runaway success. All of the eight each new Alice Munro book a runaway bestseller? Source. Runaway. By Alice Munro. August 3, Carla heard the car coming before it topped the little rise in the road that around here they called a hill. It's her, she.
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Alice Munro's "Runaway" () is character-based and has the psychological analysis potential but it had never received such kind of study. The objective of. "Runaway", by Alice Munro. Prosperos Isle. -- Books / Livres Books / Livres. "Runaway", by Alice. Munro. Papi Ray samedi 11 décembre It is therefore fair to say that Nobel-Prize winning author Alice Munro is truly one of a kind. Described by “Runaway” (, The New Yorker).
And, of course, things have changed. Highway 7 now avoids towns that it used to go right through, and it goes straight in places where, as she remembers, there used to be curves. This part of the Canadian Shield has many small lakes, which most maps have no room to identify. Even when she locates Sabot Lake, or thinks she has, there seem to be too many roads leading into it from the county road, and then, when she chooses one, too many paved roads crossing it, all with names that she does not recall.
In fact, there were no street names when she was here, more than forty years ago. Juliet has not been offered a permanent job—the teacher she was replacing has recovered from a bout of depression—and she could now be on her way home. Instead, she is taking what she has described as a little detour. A little detour to see a friend who lives up the coast. Two profiles face each other. One, a pure-white heifer, with a particularly mild and tender expression, the other a green-faced man who is neither young nor old.
He seems to be a minor official, maybe a postman—he wears that sort of cap. His lips are pale; the white of his visible eye is shining. A hand that is probably his offers up, from the lower margin of the painting, a little tree or an exuberant branch, fruited with jewels. On the short ferry ride from Buckley Bay to Denman Island, Juliet gets out of her car and stands at the front of the boat, in the late-spring breeze.
A woman standing there recognizes her, and they begin to talk. She often wears black pants, as she does today, and an ivory silk shirt, and sometimes a black jacket. She is what her mother would have called a striking woman. On a visit to Edinburgh with his father when he is nine or ten years old, Andrew finds himself climbing the damp, uneven stone steps of the Castle.
It has just stopped raining, the sun is shining on a silvery stretch of water far ahead of them, and beyond that is a pale green and grayish-blue land, a land as light as mist, sucked into the sky. My mother had a bachelor cousin a good deal younger than her, who used to visit us on the farm every summer. He brought along his mother, Aunt Nell Botts. His own name was Ernie Botts. He was a tall, florid man with a good-natured expression, a big square face, and fair curly hair springing straight up from his forehead.
His hands, his fingernails were as clean as soap itself; his hips were a little plump. My name for him—when he was not around—was Earnest Bottom.
I had a mean tongue. Doree had to take three buses—one to Kincardine, where she waited for one to London, where she waited again, for the city bus out to the facility. She started the trip on a Sunday at nine in the morning. Because of the waiting times between buses, it took her until about two in the afternoon to travel the hundred-odd miles. All that sitting, either on buses or in the depots, was not a thing she should have minded.
Her daily work was not of the sitting-down kind. At first, people kept phoning, to make sure that Nita was not too depressed, not too lonely, not eating too little or drinking too much. She had been such a diligent wine drinker that many forgot that she was now forbidden to drink at all.
She held them off, without sounding nobly grief-stricken or unnaturally cheerful or absent-minded or confused. She had enough of her prescription pills and enough stamps for her thank-you notes. Sally packed devilled eggs—something she usually hated to take on a picnic, because they were so messy. Ham sandwiches, crab salad, lemon tarts—also a packing problem.
She would have just a sip, because she was still nursing. She had bought plastic champagne glasses for the occasion, but when Alex spotted her handling them he got the real ones—a wedding present—out of the china cabinet. She protested, but he insisted, and took charge of them himself, the wrapping and packing.
I am convinced that my father looked at me, really saw me, only once. After that, he knew what was there. Fathers laid eyes on the mothers only once they were cleaned up and conscious and tucked under pastel blankets in the ward or in semi-private or private rooms.
My mother had a private room, as became her status in town, and it was just as well, actually, seeing the way things turned out. I am amazed sometimes to think how old I am. I can remember when the streets of the town I lived in were sprinkled with water to lay the dust in summer, and when girls wore waist cinchers and crinolines that could stand up by themselves, and when there was nothing much to be done about things like polio and leukemia. The best thing in winter was driving home, after her day teaching music in the Rough River schools.
It would already be dark, and on the upper streets of the town snow might be falling, while rain lashed the car on the coastal highway. Joyce drove beyond the limits of the town into the forest, and though it was a real forest with great Douglas firs and cedar trees, there were people living in it every quarter mile or so.
Also the services advertised beside the road, and more particular to this part of the world—tarot readings, herbal massage, conflict resolution. Some people lived in trailers; others had built their own houses, incorporating thatched roofs and log ends, and still others, like Jon and Joyce, were renovating old farmhouses. Carlton said. For example, I mean, like her.
Nobody on the same level. Corrie was right across the table, looking their guest in the eye. She seemed to think this was funny. When she was twelve, her mother developed Parkinson's disease, which debilitated her until her death in ; witnessing her mother's decline would be an experience that Munro would later draw from in much of her fiction. Though the family was not wealthy, Alice excelled academically, earning a scholarship to the University of Western Ontario.
After several years there, the Munros moved again to Victoria, British Columbia , and opened up a book shop in By this time, the Munros had three girls: Sheila, Jenny, and Andrea. Munro published her first short story collection in , entitled Dance of the Happy Shades, and won the Governor General's Award for fiction in She found inspiration in the work of American Southern writers like Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers , and Eudora Welty , seeking parallels between her experience in rural Ontario and the insular life in the Deep South described in their fiction.
This influence can be seen in Lives of Girls and Women, a collection of connected stories she had been pondering for ten years. As her writing career took off, her first marriage ended. She achieved bestseller status with her breakout hit Moons of Jupiter in Throughout the s and s, Munro cemented her reputation as one of the leading short stories writers in English with several more prize-winning collections.
Her Giller Prize—winning Runaway garnered rapturous reviews from critics, and her collection of autobiographical stories The View from Castle Rock was equally highly praised. Munro lives with her husband in Clinton, Ontario. Sylvia Jamieson, whose husband died months earlier, and who has just come home from a long trip to Greece. Clark urges Carla to go help Sylvia, planning to con money out of the widow. Carla goes reluctantly and reveals during her conversation with Sylvia that she would like to leave Clark.
She had run away from home to marry him at the age of eighteen, in spite of, or perhaps because of, her parents' disapproval. Sylvia encourages her to run away again, immediately phoning the bus station for departure times to Toronto and calling her friend to arrange temporary lodging for Carla. On the bus, Carla reflects on her decision to leave and then regrets leaving, unable to process the thought that she will never again see Clark and fearing that she will lose herself completely if she is no longer with him.
Hours after Sylvia drives Carla to the bus depot, Clark appears on her doorstep, with the clothes Carla borrowed from her in a bag in his hand.
Carla has returned to live with Clark. While Clark warns Sylvia to stop interfering in their lives, Flora, Carla's beloved pet goat, appears suddenly, shocking them both. When Clark returns home, he tells Carla of the talk he had with Sylvia but does not tell her about Flora.
The following week, Carla receives a letter from Sylvia, who tells her of Flora's reappearance, and Carla destroys the letter. She is haunted by the thought of what Clark might have done to Flora but never sees the small white goat again and never learns the truth.
Chance On a train ride from Toronto, Juliet Henderson meets a stranger who attempts to strike up a conversation with her. Trying to be polite, she engages him but then finds his neediness unbearable. She excuses herself and goes to the observation car. The train stops; someone has jumped out, committing suicide. Not seeing the man upon return, she deduces it is the man she rejected. She meets another stranger, who confirms her suspicion, and then she collapses in tears.
The man, who introduces himself as Eric Porteous, comforts her. He tells her about his wife Ann, who was paralyzed eight years earlier when a drunk driver ran her over as she walked home one evening. She finds him easily; the taxi driver knows where he lives and takes her there. On the way, the driver explains that Ann has died and the wake has just taken place. He assumes Juliet is there to pay her respects and takes her to Eric's house, where she meets Eric's helper, Ailo.
Juliet is disappointed to hear Ailo's suggestion that Eric has a mistress, Christa, and decides to stay to find out who Eric truly is. The story ends with hints at the life to come—a life with Eric and Christa. Soon Juliet is now four years older, visiting her dying mother in Toronto with her and Eric's thirteen-month-old daughter Penelope.
Sam, Juliet's father, and Sara, her mother, meet Penelope for the first time and introduce her to their housemate and helper, Irene Avery. Sam informs a surprised Juliet that after thirty years of teaching he has decided to retire and go into the vegetable-selling business. Irene helps around the house with the things Sara no longer has the energy to do, as well as with Sam's gardens.
Juliet finds space in the attic for Penelope to play and discovers a painting she just sent her parents as a gift stored there. Sara explains that Sam wanted to take it down, because the images in it might upset Irene.
Juliet is disturbed by her father's concern for the opinions of someone who is virtually a stranger to her. On a trip to the drugstore, Juliet runs into a childhood friend, who suggests that her father did not retire, but instead left under bitter circumstances. When her father will not explain further, Juliet deduces that he left because colleagues insulted his daughter, who was living with a man but not married, and who mothered an illegitimate child. Juliet becomes more disturbed by her father's admiration and deep feelings for Irene.
A local minister, Don, visits Sara, who now believes in God, and he converses with Juliet about whether or not she believes in God. When she says she does not, he becomes alarmed for Penelope's future. Both Don and Juliet are disturbed by the conversation, and Juliet excuses herself to get Penelope, who has woken from her nap. Running into Don in the hallway, Juliet recognizes that he is experiencing hypoglycemia a condition of low blood sugar common to diabetics and needs sugar immediately.
After he drinks the soda she offers, he leaves without a word. Silence Now in her forties, Juliet is something of a celebrity: she hosts a talk show on the Provincial Television channel. Her daughter, who is now twenty, has written a letter to her requesting a visit at the Spiritual Balance Centre, where she is on retreat. When Juliet arrives, she learns that Penelope has gone and is angered because the director will not offer any information that might help her locate her daughter.
Juliet gets the sense that the Centre is more like a cult and that Penelope has been brainwashed. She receives an unsigned birthday card on Penelope's birthday and interprets this as a sign from her daughter that she is fine. She resolves to stay where she is, hoping Penelope will come home. She regrets not helping Penelope discover her spirituality, thinking if only she had done so, Penelope would not have sought the Centre and ended up so lost. She regrets telling Penelope too much when her father died and thinks she failed to preserve her innocence as well.
She longs to be reunited with Penelope but receives only another blank birthday card every year for five years. Juliet finally accepts the thought that she may never see her daughter again and moves on with her life.
Then one day, she runs into one of Penelope's childhood friends, who innocently tells her that she has just seen Penelope in Edmonton and that Penelope has five children. The story concludes with Juliet's dimming hope that she might be reunited with Penelope. Passion Grace returns to the old summer lake house at which she spent many evenings with the Travers family.
After the opening scene, the narrative flashes back to when Grace was a twenty-year-old waitress, the hopeful fiancee of Maury Travers. She met him while working at the hotel at Bailey's Falls. On their first date, he falls in love with her when she criticizes the female protagonist of Father of the Bride, the movie they had seen on their date, for being so conventionally idiotic. Grace is an intellectual who wants to study well beyond what is required for the love of the subjects, from physics to algebra.
The only one who understands this desire is Mrs. Travers, who years earlier was forced to go to business school because it was practical. Travers has one child, Neil Borrow, from a previous marriage, and two children, Gretchen and Maury, with Mr. When Grace and Maury begin dating, Mrs. Travers begins to invite her to the family dinners at their lake house regularly. Grace's guardians, her aunt and uncle, do not mind.
Travers likes Grace so much that she offers to pick her up during her breaks at work and let her make herself at home at the Travers's house. Maury begins to talk of marriage to Grace, and she decides to continue working at the hotel that fall. Travers has a nervous breakdown and has to be admitted into the hospital. Grace learns that Neil's father had killed himself, a traumatic event that has psychologically destabilized Mrs.
By Thanksgiving, a manic Mrs. Travers returns to host the holiday dinner on a narcotic high. The entire family, including Neil, his wife Mavis, and their children, attend.
Grace is injured when the strap on her sandal breaks and she steps on a shell.
Neil, who is a doctor, arrives just then, and insists on taking her to the hospital. He has apparently been drinking. After being treated, Grace willingly accompanies Neil to buy alcohol. She ends up driving the car home as Neil is too drunk. Maury tries to give Grace the opportunity to excuse her running off with Neil, but she makes it clear that she is no longer interested in marrying him.
She learns soon therafter that Neil has been in a fatal car accident. Trespasses As with many of the other stories in Runaway, this story begins near the end, with Harry, his wife Eileen, his daughter Lauren, and a woman named Delphine, driving in a car. The narrative shifts backwards, to the time when the family first moves to town, and Harry buys a local newspaper. One evening, as Lauren and Harry are organizing the basement, she discovers a small box and asks him about it.
He tells her that inside are the ashes of a baby girl that died before she was born. At school, Lauren, the new kid, feels isolated, reflecting on how different her life is from others' lives because of her parents' radical lifestyle. After school one day, Lauren is cajoled into going into a hotel where the schoolgirls gather regularly. She meets Delphine, an older employee at the hotel with whom she strikes up a friendly relationship.
Delphine suggests that Lauren is adopted and seems to know her parents well, an intimacy that confuses Lauren. When Lauren confronts her parents on the issue, they assert that she is their biological daughter.
Delphine continues to make Lauren feel more and more uncomfortable, until finally Lauren decides to avoid her and stays home sick, afraid Delphine will stalk her. When Eileen comes home from work to check on Lauren, knowing something is terribly wrong, Lauren decides to tell her about her secret meetings with Delphine.
Eileen loses herself in anger, and she and Harry decide to settle everything with Delphine. They tell her that her baby, Lauren, was the one who died, and that they named their biological daughter Lauren also. Tricks Robin cares for her sickly sister, Joanne. She escapes the difficulty of her weighty responsibility by traveling to Stratford by train to see a Shakespeare play each summer.
On one of these trips, Robin loses her purse and is stranded without money or a return ticket. She meets a stranger in the street, who happens to be walking his dog, and who offers to help by buying her a ticket. He leads her to his apartment, where he insists on cooking her dinner. Though her intuition warns her against trusting strangers, she decides to stay and enjoys pleasant conversation with him. He escorts her back to the train station, where he buys her return ticket as promised.
As he says good-bye to her, he tells her to repay him not by sending money, but by meeting him again the following summer, wearing the same dress, and with the same hairstyle. He writes his name, Danilo, and the name of his village on a piece of paper and gives it to her. Robin spends the following year researching his village and culture, looking forward to the night she returns to meet him again. When she returns, she leaves during the play to go to his apartment.
She arrives and sees him at work in the shop, but when he sees her, he looks repulsed and shuts the door in her face. She collapses, destroyed by what appears to be his betrayal and continues her life without him.
Forty years later, working as a volunteer in a psychiatric ward, she comes across an old patient who looks like Danilo, though his name is Alexander. She learns that Alexander is Danilo's developmentally challenged twin, for whom Danilo has had to care all his life.
It was Alexander, not Danilo, whom she had seen in the shop, and she was mistaken in thinking she had been rejected. Powers This final story opens in , with the perspective of Nancy, who writes her uncensored thoughts in her diary.
On April Fool's Day, she plays tricks on her father and on her friend Wilf, a doctor who seems outraged and disappointed that she would trick him by pretending to be choking. She is surprised when he appears a few weeks later to take her out on a date, and she is shocked to receive a proposal from him that night.
She agrees to marry Wilf, and the wedding date is set for a few months later. During the wedding preparation, Wilf's cousin Ollie arrives to serve as his best man. Ollie, who is Nancy's age, bonds with Nancy in a way that Wilf does not. One day, Nancy brings Ollie to visit Tessa Netterby, who has a special talent for finding lost things.
She shows off her friend by having Tessa guess the contents of Ollie's pockets, which she is able to do with astonishing detail. Ollie becomes fascinated with Tessa and begins to court her. The following year, Nancy is expecting her first child and writes in anger to Ollie, who has all but disappeared. She congratulates Ollie for publishing a story on Tessa, but chastises him for profiting from their friendship and for not acknowledging Nancy's role in introducing him to her.
Ollie responds that he plans to bring Tessa to a scientific research lab for investigation. Nancy writes Tessa a concerned letter expressing a desire to visit with her but receives a short reply that Tessa plans to marry Ollie and move to the United States.
Over forty years later, Nancy is called to visit Tessa in Michigan, where she is an inmate at a sanatorium that is being closed down.
During their visit, Nancy learns that Tessa has received shock therapy and has endured other experiments that have left her brain seriously incapacitated, and that Tessa believes Ollie has been murdered. She tells the matron at the institution that she cannot take Tessa in because she has to care for her husband Wilf, who is in poor health. As she leaves, she promises to write Tessa but does not ever do so. A few years later, Nancy runs into Ollie on the street in Vancouver, one of the many stops on her cruise to Alaska.
Ollie informs Nancy that he lives on Texada Island and has been working as a fisherman for years. She learns that he and Tessa were never legally married and that during the Great Depression the funding for the research on Tessa was lost.
To gain some kind of income, he and Tessa began performing in traveling shows, trying to capitalize on Tessa's abilities. When Tessa developed leukemia and the money from the traveling shows stopped paying, Ollie began working for a radio station in a mountain town near California. Tessa's health became worse, and Ollie finally had to take her to the hospital where, he tells Nancy, she died a few weeks after that. He had her cremated, he said. Knowing that this is not true, Nancy wonders at Ollie's dishonesty.
In the end, left to put the details together herself, Nancy imagines what their life together must have been like. Her name recalls the famous suspect in the murder trial, who allegedly killed her father and stepmother with a hatchet. Lizzie was acquitted, but the case was never solved. Carla Carla gives horseback riding lessons from her stable and helps her neighbor, Sylvia Jamieson, around the house. She meets Clark when she is only eighteen, and she alternates between romantic and cynical thoughts of him.
Though she yearns for intimacy with Clark, she also fantasizes about running away from him. Clark Clark is a riding instructor and Carla's husband.
He had always dreamed of owning his own stables, but his dream is disappointed by the economic hardship of his life. He has a volatile temperament, and his mood swings disturb Carla, who fears he is always angry at her.
He is interested in conning people out of their money and is constantly working on schemes to do so. Flora Flora is the small white goat who shares the stable with Carla's horses. When she disappears, Carla is disturbed and searches for her.
She reappears at the end of the story, but then disappears again. Leon Jamieson Mr. Jamieson is a poet who passes away before most of the story takes place. He has worked tirelessly on improving the house he shares with Sylvia. There are rumors that he and Sylvia grow marijuana and keep their illegal profits hidden in the ground around their house. He receives a large monetary reward for a poetry prize before he dies.
Carla falsely tells Clark that Mr. Jamieson has molested her. Sylvia Jamieson Sylvia is a professor of botany who has been taking care of her ailing husband. She has just returned from Greece, and in the loneliness of new widowhood she is anxious to see Carla again. Maggie Maggie is a friend of Sylvia's who traveled with her to Greece.
Soraya Soraya is a friend of Sylvia's who traveled with her to Greece. She interprets Sylvia's bond with Carla as a crush, which annoys Sylvia.
Ruth Stiles Ruth is Sylvia's friend who lives alone in Toronto and is willing to take Carla in while she finds a place of her own. Joy Tucker Joy is the librarian in town who keeps her horse in Carla's stable. She complains that Clark is not taking adequate care of her horse. Chance Ailo Eric's helper and neighbor, Ailo is protective of him and suspicious of Juliet.
She has cared for Ann while she was incapacitated. She is aware that her academic mentors worry that she might get married and waste the energy they have spent on her. Juanita Juanita is Juliet's friend and fellow teacher, who confides that she has been in love with a married man.
Lonely Man Juliet encounters this middle-aged man on the train. He tries to befriend her, but she rejects him. He disappears during the train ride, and Juliet concludes that he has committed suicide. Eric Porteus Eric is another passenger Juliet meets on the train.
He is married to Ann, who was paralyzed in a car accident when drunken teenagers plowed into her as she walked home alone from a party she did not want to attend. Eric cares for her until she dies but engages in at least one affair during this time. He welcomes Juliet when she comes to visit him six months later.
We learn in the next story that he is a prawn fisherman, and he and Juliet have a child together. In the end, the narrator asserts, she will become a great friend and friendly rival to Juliet. Irene, who is Juliet's age, is neither friendly nor talkative. Juliet learns later that Irene is afraid of her. Irene's father abandoned the family when she was very young. Irene has a two-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son, and lost her husband, who was killed running from the police.
He becomes disturbed by Juliet's assertion that she is an atheist and implores her to introduce God to her daughter. Penelope Henderson Penelope is Juliet and Eric's thirteen-month-old daughter. In the next story, Penelope is twenty, and has joined a spiritual cult and disappeared. Her absence tortures Juliet, who waits to hear from her. Sam Henderson Juliet's father, Sam, was a popular middle school teacher. After teaching for thirty years, he abruptly retires and begins operating a vegetable market from his home.
He had been an admired teacher but was prone to challenging authority. Sara Henderson Sara, Juliet's mother, is extremely weak. She begins projects but cannot finish them because of her lack of energy.
Charlie Little An old schoolmate of Juliet's, Charlie runs into her at the drugstore. He expresses sympathy for what has happened to Juliet's father. Silence Heather Heather is Penelope's childhood friend. Juliet runs into her at the end of the story, and Heather reveals that while visiting her brother Josh, she ran into Penelope, who is married and has five children.
Heather has three children of her own. Gary Lamb Christa's brother Gary becomes one of Juliet's numerous boyfriends. He is cold and rational, and she does not love him. Larry Larry is Juliet's boyfriend late in life, after Eric's death and after Penelope disappears. He teaches Greek, a topic through which he and Juliet bond.
When Juliet comes to meet with her daughter, Joan tells her apologetically that Penelope has left and seems to take pleasure in challenging her on her lack of faith.
Passion Dana is Neil and Mavis's youngest daughter. Janey Borrow Janey is Neil and Mavis's oldest daughter. She becomes upset by a word game the family plays when she comes to a family gathering alone without Neil and her children.
Neil Borrow Neil is Mrs. Travers's oldest son from a previous marriage. He is a doctor and an alcoholic. Grace Grace is a twenty-year-old waitress in Bailey's Falls.
Her aunt and uncle stepped in as parents after her mother died when she was three, and her father left for Saskatchewan, where he has another family. She is academically ambitious, to the dismay of her principal and her aunt and uncle, who feel her proper role is to earn a living caning chairs with her uncle.
Gretchen Travers Gretchen is Mr. Travers's oldest daughter. In her late twenties, she is married and has children. Maury Travers Maury is the twenty-one-year-old college senior who falls in love with Grace. He is initially impressed by her protests to conventional femininity.