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Lack of Communication in Horses of the Night

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Lack of communication in Horses of the Night

              In the short story, “Horses of the Night”, by Margaret Laurence, discusses the theme of lack of communication. Chris, the male protagonist, who tends to escape the bludgeoning words from Grandfather Conner, the illustration of this is “[Vanessa] felt the old rage of helplessness. But as for Chris—he gave no sign of feeling anything” (Laurence 11). Chris comes from poor family, but stays clam when Conner speaks of his father, without a word of thought and pride towards him. He would not argue or defend himself, but he does not apologize, either. Additionally, when Vanessa goes to Shallow Creek where Chris lives in order to take her mind off her father’s death, she realizes gradually that Chris’s life circumstance is tragic enough. Chris has an obvious tendency to ignore conflict and close himself off from his sisters’ squabbling voices: “[Vanessa] wishes [he] would return his sisters’ bickering for once, or tell [them] to clean out, or even yell at one of the kids. But [he] never did.” (Laurence 20). Chris tends to choose an evasive way to handle the family’s bickering, he even does not want to talk with his sisters. Accordingly, Vanessa feels she has failed herself utterly when Chris tells her the news, so she chooses an escapable way to end the communication as well: “[She] resented Chris’s facing [her] with [the other things], [she] took refuge in pretending to be asleep” (Laurence 22). She is lack of talking even the things she knows. In conclusion, this short story reflects the theme which is lack of communication.  It is the way of less- healthy and more defensive that characters had during this short story. Not only Chris is unable to talk with his family even his sisters, but Vanessa chooses to escape the talk with her relatives Chris as well.

Works Cited

Laurence, Margaret. “Horses of the Night” Story and Structure. Ed. Laurence Perrine. Toronto:  

              Harcourt Canada, 1987. 8-24. Print.




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