Site Loader

Living with depression and isolation from loved ones is a difficult challenge that breaks most people. Mrs.Bentley tries her best to cope with her depression and isolation by attempting to please her husband, picking up useless hobbies and making friends, and her depression also shows that she is seeing things not how they are. Mrs.Bentley’s form of writing shows she sees the world through a darker, more depressing the reality rather than actual reality, only seeing the bad things and not the good.
Mrs.Bentley brings things into her relationship to escape the depression from her marriage and to please her husband. The Bentley’s meet a homeless boy named Steve who at first sight they love, “he and Steve looked each other over. Phillip’s eyes were narrowed . . . his mouth relaxed and absent . . . I saw an ominously good looking boy” (Ross 54). The Bentleys adopt the boy, and their relationship begins to feel normal now. Phillip tries to spend as much time with Steve as possible. Mrs.Bentley fears that Steve is a competition for them when she find out he’d rather spend time with her, “it makes me feel uneasy, the way we get along so well together. I have a guilty feeling that are companionship is rapidly becoming a conspiracy” (Ross 95). She realizes that Steve is more harmful to their relationship rather than helpful. “Steve invites the temptation of a false harmony that will give resolution to her story’s incompleteness” (Kroetsch 219). The Bentleys adopt a dog for Steve. Phillip loves the dog and instantly takes it in as one of his and name it after the artist El Greco. The Bentleys also adopt a horse for Steve, although they are financially close to breaking point, they find happiness in caring for steve and ignore their actual needs. One day Steve gets into a fight at school with a teacher and a student. The townspeople displeased, they collectively vote him out of the town. Philip also receives a letter stating that his pay will be docked by $10. After weeks of beautiful weather it starts storming again for multiple days. With every good thing that happens to the Bentleys a bad thing ends up replacing it. El Greco and the horse Minnie become a placeholder for the bentleys representing what they can never have, happiness.
Mrs.Bentley desperately tries to distract herself from her rocky relationship with her husband she even tries things she knows won’t work and leaves her comfort zone all in an effort to escape her depressing reality. Mrs.Bentley decides to make a garden when she knows it most likely won’t work, “So I’m going to have a garden. The way the wind keeps on, and all the signs of drought, it isn’t likely anything will grow” (Ross 58). Mrs.Bentley uses the garden as a place she can “withdraw from the difficulties of her married life” (Woodcock 42). Her husband knows this as he too uses his study in a similar fashion to “withdraw from the difficulties of his insincere ministry and of married life” (Woodcock 42)and helps her with the garden doing this he is trying to fill the gap in their relationship by making them become closer but Philip can only think of the bad times of their relationship and he isolates himself from her often in his study. Mrs.Bentley feels isolated from the town because she was not there during its upbringing, she says she would feel more comfortable, “if we owned one of the little false-fronted stores, if we could share in the hopes and ambitions and disappointments of the people” (Ross 58). Mrs.Bentley builds a relationship with a young, beautiful woman named Judith. They share similar interests such as music and Philip. Their friendship revolved around their musical interests in each other; Judith, the town’s best singer and Mrs.Bentley, the town’s best pianist. As Judith and Mrs.Bentley became closer so did Judith and Philip up to the point where Judith spent more time with Philip rather than her. Mrs.Bentley became jealous and one night went looking for the both of them, to her suspicions neither of their whereabouts were known. Later on Judith announced her pregnancy but not who the father was, Mrs.Bentley was certain it was Philip. Judith dies in childbirth and the Bentleys adopt the child, Mrs.Bentley hopes that in time she could convince herself, “that in time his and Judith’s son would become my son too” (214). Mrs.Bentley feels genuinely happy for once because she is able to please her husband with the one thing he has always wanted: a child. Mrs.Bentley often vents her depression through her language and directs it to other things that bear no meaning on her:
It’s a depressing house anyway. The ceilings are low, the
windows small and mean. White would have been just as cheap
and washable, but they’ve painted the kitchen and Phillip’s study
gray . . . the house smells as ugly as it looks with a reek of accumulated
despair inherited from the parsons’ families who have inhabited it in
the past. (Ross 12)
She also constantly writes how she hates Horizon and the people there. Her vocabulary shows that her depression is altering her views on the world, her relationship, and how she differs from others.
Mrs.Bentley believes that no one respects her or her husband and that Horizon is a terrible town filled with terrible people but it is very different than she thinks. Mrs.Bentley believes that people only come to their sermons because Philip is a very attractive man and all the woman love him, but near the end of her diary entries it is shown that all the people loved Philip’s sermons and Mrs.Bentley’s music as people such as Mrs.Bird would just walk into her house to listen, “I’ll just sit still if you don’t mind and listen” Mrs.Bird tells Mrs.Bentley (Ross 28). The Bentleys find their first sign of care and love in Horizon when they meet Steve. They take him in as one of their own children and love and care for him and can’t help but forget all of their troubles when they are with him. Steve is a symbol that shows there is still hope for what lies in Horizon and a sign that not everything Mrs.Bentley thinks about is true or will turn out to be true about Horizon. Mrs.Bentley writes that the town is depressing and especially the false-fronted stores and houses. When Mrs.Bentley rides into town she thinks of another town she previously visited, she sits, “thinking of the restaurant and the bell that used to ring . . . I saw the church from the last town” (Ross 132), this shows that her life in Horizon can’t be as bad as she writes because she forgets about Horizon because “Horizon is always somewhere and nowhere” (Woodcock 26) everywhere she feels depressed she is reminded of Horizon and when she feels happy she realizes that she is having those feelings in Horizon.
Ross uses a characters’ depression and anxiety to give them depth that a reader can relate too. Mrs.Bentley is trapped in her own world unable to understand what’s going on to an outsider’s perspective. She eases her mind by providing for her husband and leaving her comfort zone and trying new things. When things don’t work out her way she becomes isolated from others and her depression kicks in giving her a bad view on the world. She copes this by writing about the things she hates: Horizon, the houses, and the people. Her poor views on the world block out all the good things that are right in front of her her, she makes out Horizon than it’s worse to be, the people of the town love her and Philip and treat them respect but she thinks the opposite, and the boy Steve represented that there was still hope and love to be found from Horizon for the Bentleys. The feelings the characters create for each other makes a novel in which the readers can relate to.

Post Author: admin

x

Hi!
I'm Sarah!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out