The mother and Neal

The narrator’s mother

The narrator’s mother is a secondary character in Alice Munro’s short story “Gravel.”

Outer characterisation

The mother is described as “good-looking and young enough to be mistaken for an actress”. She organized fund-raisings for the theater and volunteered as an usher.

Before leaving her husband, she wore makeup, high heeled shoes, silk nightdresses, a diamond ring, and her wedding ring. Once she starts volunteering at the theater, she adopts a more liberating style, letting her hair wild and dressing with “shawls and long skirts and dangling necklaces”.

Inner characterisation

The narrator’s mother is a woman who seeks fulfillment. While she lives with her husband, she leads a luxurious lifestyle, living in a big house with expensive decorations. She was most likely a housewife, since she tended the garden and the house, and had more free time than her husband. She does not have a car, which possibly means she does not need to ...

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