A Report on Critical Approaches

A Report on Critical Approaches Applied to ???Revenge Gardening???

Summary of ???Revenge Gardening??? by Sue Harper

?«? Revenge Gardening? ?» by Sue Harper, is a short story, centered around circumstances of conflict between three of the main characters; Marion Stevenson, Claire and Colleen, the three of which are avid gardeners. The story, is told from Marion??™s sons perspective. The feud begins when Marion offers to sell her new neighbours curtains to put in their picture window. However, to her dismay and offense, after carefully looking through each sample, the women politely tell her that they quite enjoy the view, and thus will not be needing curtains. Marion, immediately demands that her son, Matthew, who enjoys the company of his new neighbours, spend less time with them. As things start to cool down, Marion Stevenson, hears about a local garden club tour, and begins to do anything in her power in order to sabotage her neighbours??™ yard. Over the days to come, Marion achieves revenge by doing everything from ejecting a hideous fence between their yards, to chopping down all of the branches from her lilac tree that hang over onto Claire and Colleens??™s yard. With every act of vengeance by Marion, Claire and Colleen??™s garden just becomes more and more spectacular, until one day Marion Stevenson crosses the line by installing an ugly chain-link fence between the two yards. Infuriated, the women plant a destructive Weeping Willow tree, with Matthew??™s help, near the fence. Claire and Colleen then move far away to a winterized cottage, and as many years go by, the willow becomes gigantic, taking up the majority of the yard. In the end, when Matthew??™s mother dies, he heads home. When he sees the damage left by the roots of the tree, he realises that Colleen and Claire won the final battle. The story ends with the removal of the willow.

Critical Approach #1: Feminist Approach

The first approach and possibly the most powerful that I chose, was a feminist approach. Harper??™s female characters are not only extremely powerful, but are in no way inferior to the male characters in the story. This is particularly true when observing Marion??™s relationship with her husband.

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