Mrs Bridge review ☆ eBook or Kindle ePUB

Evan S. Connell ☆ 3 review

Mrs Bridge review ☆ eBook or Kindle ePUB ´ In Mrs Bridge Evan S Connell a consummate storyteller artfully crafts a portrait using the finest of details in everyday events and confrontations With a surgeon’s skill Connell cuts away the middle class security blanket of uniformity to expose the arrested development underneath—the entropyIn Mrs Bridge Evan S Connell a consummate storyteller artfully crafts a portrait using the finest of details in everyday events and confrontations With a surgeon’s skill Connell cuts away the middle class security blanket of uniformity to expose the arrested development underneath the entropy of time and relationships lead Mrs Bridge's th. If you’re like me there may be certain privileged disenchanted types you feel like telling “Get a real problem” I thought for a while Mrs Bridge would ualify for that kind of reproach She had a comfortable life at a time when many did not she had few responsibilities and the status uo such as she perceived it suited her fine Whence the angst then Reading on we see from where very clearly I was no longer tempted to say her problems weren’t real Thanks to Connell’s many revealing vignettes everything about her rang trueMrs Bridge and her husband a successful lawyer who worked long hours at the office lived in Kansas City with their two daughters and younger son The time period covered the twenties up to WWII During much of this time of course the country was in The Great Depression but you wouldn’t know it by them Her Lincoln laundry kitchen and home were well tended At first I viewed her as a kind of numeraire a God fearing Midwestern middlebrow against whom the differing attitudes of the day and uirks of other characters could be measured Then as tiles in the mosaic were put in place 117 short chapters I found that her own nuanced profile had emerged It wasn’t always one we could admire but it was one we could understand She was a recognizable product of human nature and the timesThere are so many examples of Connell’s brilliant character bites that it’s difficult to come up with a representative few that can illustrate These tidbits did not constitute a plot but they were interesting enough in their own right to keep the narrative lively Characters other than Mrs Bridge were profiled too including her family servants and friends We’re reminded of the state of race relations “knowing one’s place” in essence and the role of many housewives in the pre feminist era deferring to the husband in most every way Mrs Bridge was the most fully drawn of course Mr Bridge got his chance in a follow up book Connell published 10 years later She was » not one to speak her mind if it could be construed as poor manners to do so» a careful student of appearances» innately suspicious of change» friends with a woman who liked arts and books but could never seem to follow through with her own self improvements Spanish lessons curtailed after chapter 1 her short lived political awareness campaign yielded the way to Mr Bridge’s pronouncements and books were often abandoned» progressively less successful imparting her old values to the new generation of BridgesWhile it was not always easy to like Mrs Bridge it was no leap at all to feel sorry for her As her children grew independent she had very little to do Companionship from her husband was minimal And the purposelessness she felt really stung To sum it all up Connell’s last short chapter presented the perfect ending view spoilerMrs Bridge was pulling her Lincoln out of the garage when the engine died Her door was right up against the side of the garage and the other doors were obstructed too She was trapped with no clue of how to get out Would anyone hear her cries for help If so when hide spoiler

free read ↠ eBook or Kindle ePUB ☆ Evan S. Connell

Ree children and husband to recede into a remote silence and she herself drifts further into doubt and confusion The raised evening newspaper becomes almost a fire screen to deflect any possible spark of conversation The novel is comprised of vignettes images fragments of conversations events all building powerfully toward the completed gro. 5★“Her first name was India—she was never able to get used to it It seemed to her that her parents must have been thinking of someone else when they named her Or were they hoping for another sort of daughter As a child she was often on the point of inuiring but time passed and she never did”That last phrase sums up her story that she was often on the point of something but time passed and something else intervenedIndia Bridge was what might now be called a whitebread girl raised in the American Midwest in Kansas after WWI She didn’t think she’d bother to get married but lawyer Walter Bridge called on her often telling her his dream to take his wife “whenever I finally decide to marry” on a tour of Europe He persisted until he convinced her to accept him“She was not certain what she wanted from life or what to expect from it for she had seen so little of it but she was sure that in some way—because she willed it to be so—her wants and her expectations were the same”This is a touching portrait – both sad and funny – the kind of story that may make you burst out laughing at her but then realise that all Mrs Bridge knows is what she was taught – ‘proper’ behaviour She has internalised a handbook of appropriate behaviour so if she follows the rules life will turn out just fine which is probably why she married because it was expected of her Written in 1959 this takes place mostly between the two World Wars Many people born post WWII would know or have been raised by mothers like Mrs Bridge women who had been told how to deal with servants tradespeople business people and their own middle upper or upper social classLife for them was just about as cut and dried as the Indian caste system or medieval society with nobles and peasants It was only one step removed from America’s colonial past and slavery But life doesn’t always follow the rules There is a kind of underlying terror to her days She keeps waiting for something anything The book opens with a Walt Whitman uotation“But where is what I started for so long agoAnd why is it yet unfound”She is stuck in a time warp with a pre war set of already outdated social standards and she's just aware enough to feel uncomfortable and itchy but far too timid to do anything about it fearful that she will annoy her husband and embarrass herself She envies but worries about her friend Grace Barron who wears different clothes and rails loudly against discrimination and the poor treatment of Native Americans Mostly I cringed a lot hearing echoes of my childhood and feeling again my own discomfort when in a situation where I don’t know what the “appropriate behaviour” is I grew up in the American Midwest but I left before I learned how to tip for example As a result when I used to travel to visit the US I tended to hang onto my own bag because I wasn’t sure what to do Mr Bridge is a strong background figure a wait till your father gets home sort of fellow who always knows how to tip and a man who believed the longer he worked the better he was providing for his family He is a man who takes care of everything He gives her amazing birthday presents one of which is an enormous Lincoln car that she can’t parkHer children of course are another generation entirely and considerably free wheeling than their parents There are two girls whom she understands a bit and a lively little boy whom she doesn’t understand at all Why oh why did Douglas use the guest towel in the bathroom when they had company over Oh the horror of it all“They were uite small not much larger than a handkerchief and no one ever touched them After the visitors had gone home she would carefully lift them from the rack and replace them in the box till next time Nobody touched them because they looked too nice; guests always did as she herself did in their homes—she would dry her hands on a piece of Kleenex”I remember guest towels well and I bet I have some somewhere in a box that I never knew what to do with But Mrs Bridge hid all the real towels so what’s a poor boy to do She butts heads with teenaged Ruth over her not carrying a purse when going out “Ruth was still admiring herself in the mirror ‘I shouldn't think you could carry much in those pockets’ Ruth stepped backward narrowed her eyes and unfastened the top button of her blouse ‘Really you need some things’ Mrs Bridge remarked a trifle sharply ‘And button yourself up for goodness sake You look like a chorus girl‘Good night’ said Ruth flatly and started for the door But dear a lady always carries a purse’ Mrs Bridge was saying when the door closed”She misses the early closeness with Mr Bridge and realises he will always spend time at the office and in his study than with her “They had started off together to explore something that promised to be wonderful and of course there had been wonderful times And yet thought Mrs Bridge why is it that we haven't—that nothing has—that whatever we—”She has a full time housekeeper who cooks and cleans and comes in the back door with the tradespeople Mrs Bridge is a lady of leisure desperate for validation or at least for someone to spend time with It’s the maid’s day off so with nobody to talk to she calls a friend who comes for coffee and they decide to have a snack which they will have to fix themselves ‘Strawberries and whipped cream’she suggested ‘These are frozen of course They don't really taste the same as the fresh but they certainly are a time saver’Oh the irony The whole book is full of these gems that you may not even notice Mrs Bridge certainly doesn’t at least not outwardly Inwardly she is still feeling she’s missed something but she doesn’t uite know what it is She could start by planting strawberriesI can’t wait to read Mr Bridge now I have seen it said that the author based Mrs Bridge on his mother I would recognise her a mile away Wonderful story

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Mrs BridgeUp portrait of a family closely knit on the surface but deeply divided by loneliness boredom misunderstandings isolation sexual longing and terminal isolation In this special fiftieth anniversary edition we are reminded once again why Mrs Bridge has been hailed by readers and critics alike as one of the greatest novels in American literatur. What a patient and subtle novel Mrs Bridge portrait of an upper middle class matron in 1920s 30s 40s Kansas City would be less effective if Connell’s satirical sense were cartoonish or caricatural or if he had chosen to distance himself from the milieu of his own childhood with rounds of wordy denunciation It is easy to caricature those who strive to be unerringly conventional absolutely unthreateningly recognizable to whatever peers they’re set among as edgeless and dull with a vast unuestioning silence where a self should be Connell shows us how such people are actually the opposite of placidly dull In fact with a little uiet attention and some graceful empathy their inner lives soon reveal anxiety and torment jagged emotions of loneliness and deprivation consciousness crazed by fear of standing out in a negative way Connell traces Mrs Bridge’s ingratiating gestures and careful clichés back to their turbid source the need to conceal the sexual frustration and loneliness of her merely ceremonial marriage Every aspect of boring propriety every blandly genteel touch at a certain age a boy must begin to wear a homburg young ladies must never go out without a purse Connell shows to be dictated by a complex machinery of calculation a desperate vigilance over appearances We all know a Mrs Bridge agreeable and sociably smooth with strangers and acuaintances her husband numbers among those but a nagging burden to intimates especially to his or her children the class implications of whose presentation and deportment provokes an untiring inescapable fussing She’s the kind of parent from whom the least adventurous child must hide its life Connell’s is the best anatomy of I know of the deathliness of the middlebrow and of the poverty of affluent people who lack for nothing except a sharable cultural language for difficult experience Mrs Bridge’s everything is just perfect respectability denies her emotional complexity and it denies the body without even the facilely antithetical pretense of exalting the mind She occupies a decorous euphemistic airlessly artificial state from which both intellectuality and sensuality are barred Her state makes me think of the Americans disassociated from the earthy peasant traditions and meaningful religious practices of immigrant ancestors by the upward mobility of their anxiously assimilative suburbanite parents or grandparents while at the same time having little access to the sensual and emotional wisdom to be found in the art forms the mainstream routinely ghettoizes with the daunting label “high culture” Mrs Bridge’s spirited children Ruth and Douglas rebel by seeking out exotically and to their mother odorously ethnic lovers; even the conformist Carolyn marries “beneath her” The Bridge children are the very type of contemporary Americans who whine about “not having a culture” and they’re absolutely right Or say they have a culture but it’s not one you can live in None of the things Mrs Bridge wishes to ritually pass down to her children is at all sustaining or nutritive none of it says anything honest or memorable about our emotions our minds our bodies Ruth and Douglas flee from her because she has nothing to give because when she talks to them about life she lies The tragedy of the book is that she loves them so deeply but earns their distrust by always pretending they’re still little children who can be fooled In a wonderful vignette Mrs Bridge wants to put together and hand down to her kids albums made up of clippings of the short philosophical uotations that appear in the local society paper She finally abandons the plan when one of the usually affirmative and cheery maxims turns out to contain the difficult humane substance she habitually shuns Mrs Bridge being considerably interested in these maxims had at one point thought of beginning a nice scrapbook with the idea of handing it on to the children Though she had not found time for this she continued to try to memorize certain uotations despite the fact that there never seemed to be an appropriate occasion to re uote them A line from Montaigne set her to thinkingI have always observed a singular accord between super celestial ideas and subterranean behaviorIn less crystalline style she had observed somewhat the same thing and was puzzled by it she recalled the strange case of Dr Foster who had been positively identified at the burlesue not once which could have been attributed to his gathering material for a sermon but several times Further he never mentioned it Over the wisdom of Montaigne she brooded eventually reaching the conclusion that if super celestial ideas were necessarily accompanied by subterranean behavior it might be better to forego them both Foregoing those what are you left with Dainty hand towels no one dries hands on