Maeve Brennan, being an Irish woman who immigrated to the US, has written various papers and short stories about women emigration. One of the books that she has written is The Rose Garden. Therein, several short stories have been covered, and The Bride is one of them. Just as the title of the short story revels, it is about a bride, and in this case, as Brennan wrote is Margaret. She is vulnerable Irish immigrant maid, and therefore, the cause for her migration is in search of employment. However, she is trapped by Carl, a German who has specialized in plumbing, but as portrayed by the short story, he is a bully. In addition, her sister Madge takes all after their mother passes away primarily because Margaret at the time she passed away was not at home. As such, The Bride showcases numerous problems migrant women face, injustices waged against them, as well as pain, anxiety, marriage conflicts, and poverty that can underlie migrant women; however, it also shows how proactive women can be in gaining control over their lives, as well as showing their power of caring.
One of the primary problems that not only women but also men face as immigrants include social changes, whereby, a person may experience a sense of loss, isolation, and alienation (Leeds-Hurwitz, 2002). For instance, as the short story opens, she is all alone after the Smiths had gone to their cottage located in the Berkshires for summer. The state at which she is described makes the reader sense a state of isolation. For instance, as Brennan points out, she was all alone in the house. The phone was shut off, the refrigerator was disconnected, the windows all were locked, and all the beds, except hers, stripped for the summer (Brennan, 2000, p153) shows that she had no company, so she sinks in deep brooding of her lifes bad lucks, including her impending marriage to Carl, that has been shaped by her efforts to win her mothers love against her preference over Madge, her sister.
As she broods over her life, it shows that her psychological state of mind has been greatly affected, which is a common psychological effect that immigrants face in their new destination. For instance, the sense of alienation and isolation in Margarets life adds a possibility of poor self-esteem and sense of failure. Consequently, there is a possibility that migrants, such as Margaret, develop depressive symptoms primarily because it is not the life she wished for as there is a feeling that there is a discrepancy between expectation and achievement. These are aspects that are primarily triggered by migration to other nations, whether the stay is temporary or permanent residence, or for educational, economic, and political reasons.
Economic problems, as evidenced in The Bride, seem to afflict women, especially those who are low-skilled, just like Margaret. For this reason, they are forced to offer maid services primarily because it is the easiest accessible job for women in the urban regions, such as the US where she had immigrated. For instance, according to Ehrenreich and Hochschild (2003), maid services were the main sources of employment in urban areas as significant amount of women worked as maids, which induced immigration. Therefore, migrant women with low skills, due to economic hardships are forced to work in low paying jobs. This is evidenced in The Bride where Margaret had to leave home for the US to take care of her family financially. For instance, Margaret found satisfaction in the amount of money orders she sent home weekly, knowing the power they gave her mother over the household. As such, it can be derived that due to economic hardships, women can go to any length to alleviate the money problems in their families. Margaret was bold enough to take the chance of being a maid for ten years just to alleviate the financial problems her family was facing. As Singleton (2000) points out, one method of taking care of the elderly is via monetary support, which was exactly what Margaret was doing.
Further, the issue of monetary challenges have been orchestrated by the short story in that Margaret is in a state of hope that something good might happen. It is for this reason that it is transparent that she did no enjoy the life she had. She was already getting impatient, and I believe it is for this reason that she opted to marry Carl. In essence, the feeling of disillusionment is apparent in the story, which was fuelled by monetary problems. For instance, as the short story reveals, If only God had given Margaret the strength to wait a while longer, something might have turned up. She might have won the Sweep, or some old lady might have turned up who wanted a companion to travel to Ireland with her, or somebody-her uncle maybe-might have died and left her a legacy . As such, it can be derived that she experienced problems that only if she had money, she would not have faced the same problems. Further evidence of the feeling of disillusionment can be derived from the fact that she had a lot of regrets. As the short story puts is, All her hopes had turned into regrets; only the hurt, strained feeling in her heart was the same. Everything had turned out wrong(p157). In essence she expected that one day she would return back home, and with the small amount that she had accumulated in the 10 years she worked at the Smiths, she would start a business that would support her and her mother. However, with the passing away of the mother, it rendered all her hopes fruitless. It is no wonder that she was filled with regret. I am inclined to assume that she would have been better off at home than being an immigrant in the US.
In addition, to further reveal economic hardships that women face in the society, The Bride states that, After the debt to her uncle was paid off (p155). This provides basis that women take care of their families. According to Stephens et al. (2001), care for the elderly entail frequent monetary subsidies. The Bride provides evidence that her Margaret family had financial problems, and Margaret was willing to alleviate this condition. Her action to pay off the debt shows that she is responsible and carried the burden of her family. Additionally, even after paying the debt, she sent more and more money home... Also, as the short story points out, she had worked at the Smiths for 10 years, which reveals how determined she was in making her family better.
In this light, it also shows the caring nature of women in the society, even though they are faced with difficulties. It is embedded in our notions that caring can be seen in the deepest dimensions of traditional gender differentiation in the society. However, it is commonly known that men care about careers, advancement, ideas, as well as advancement while men show that they care by the work they do, provisions they make for their families, and also the values they hold. In congruence to this statement, Margaret reveals to the Smiths that Carl was in fact starting a business, and thus, it shows that Carl intended to care about her, even though she does not wholly love him. Also, the short story reveals the softer part of men because it is clear that Carl care for her when her mother passes on by holding her. Also, as Margaret tells the Smiths that he was going to start a business, describing the house (not yet build) that Carl hoped to buy, and telling about his plan to go into business with his brother someday (p155). Therefore, this shows that he indeed cared for her. However, it is clear that Margaret had taken up some mens roles and replicated them into her life to show that she cared for her family. For instance, it is the duty of men to take care of the family from a financial point of view. However, Margaret is in employment as a maid to accumulate enough money to take care of her mother. For instance, she cleared the bill her family owed her uncle, and thus, evidencing that she had taken up a mans societal role. Also, she intends to start her own business so that she can support herself and her mother, and thereby, showing her interest in taking up a mans role. Additionally, caring involves commitment to something or someone, and thus, it should have an object and is necessarily relational (Tronto, 1989). In this case, Carl cared for Margaret, and Margaret cared for her family. It is clear in her thoughts that she intended to accumulate capital that she would in turn use to start a business that could fetch enough money to take care of her mother and her. Therefore, it is clear that The Bride showcases the role of women and men in caring for their families.
In addition, the theme of caring of women is catapulted by the fact that Margaret served the Smiths for an extended period of 10 years. For someone to work as maid for that long proves that she did a fantastic job, that is why she was never fired. Essentially, they had built a strong bond, and therefore, they did not want to let her go. As a matter of fact, the Smiths tried to convince her to stay, but she instead told them that she wanted to marry Carl and start their own family. She even regretted telling them so. As such, the Smiths had built a high level of trust and love for her. It is no wonder she regretted having said that for she never really wanted to marry him.
Persistence for men is revealed in the short story when Carl does not give up on her, but instead, he persists until she yields. As the short story reveals, she had given in to Carls persistence and given him her promise. In addition, as The Bride puts it, His persistence had put her off the first time she met himshe would have been firm then, and got rid of him for goodthat was the German in him, enabling him to hang on until he got what he was after (p157) It is clear that persistence pays off, at least for Carl, because he is going to marry Margaret even though she was not inclined to marrying him. At the same time, this also shows that women are indecisive when it comes to marriage. They may not necessarily love their partner, but marry them anyway. This also reveals the numerous problems women face. However, for Margarets case, this may be traced back to the moment when she immigrated. It is clear that Madge, her sister, never immigrated, but was married. As such, this also shows how women, in a bid to exalt care, sacrifice their happiness. If Margaret was at home, there is a very big likelihood that she would have been married by a man she loved, but in a bid to alleviate the financial problems her family had, she missed that chance, and in turn, she would be married to carl, a German plumber whom despite being a good company, never intended to marry him. Therefore, this proves that she was actually more caring compared to Madge.
Additionally, The Bride also shows some of the injustices that women face in the society. This has been brought forth by Madge, Margarets sister, as well as her mother. According to Baker (2008), there are many instances when women are faced with injustices. For instance, as one reads though the short story, it is clear that the mother loved Madge more than Margaret. For instance, she cries when Madge is being married for she will never see her again. However, Margaret expects that she would cry when she tells her that she was leaving for US. According to The Bride, the mother would come to her senses and forbid her to go. But the mother appeared delighted to see Margaret get her chance, and there were fewer tears shed over Margarets departure for foreign land than over Madges decision to marry a boy (p155). One form of injustice that women face is discrimination, not getting equal opportunities in life aspects. As such, to some extent, it shows that her...
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