What if somebody you always thought you loved turned out to be someone they were not? In the short story, “Brigid” by Mary Lavin, Owen’s wife is trying to convince Owen to put his sister, Brigid, in a nursing home. This story is set in Ireland during the 1930s. At this time, you were known as a terrible person if you put a relative in a nursing home. When the couple gets in a fight over this debate, Owen storms to Brigid’s house.
When Owen’s wife begins to worry about Owen, she goes to search for Owen. When she reaches Brigid’s house, she finds Owen on the ground burnt to death after a stroke.
Because Brigid is mentally retarded, Brigid was unable to save the helpless Owen. Owen’s wife then realizes she never loved Owen and pretended to be someone she wasn’t. Love sustains with a challenge is the most significant theme in “Brigid”, because Owen’s wife realizes she wasn’t as loving as she could have been, had no compassion for Brigid, and made herself out to be someone she was not.
When true loves comes to mind, you usually think of that elderly couple that goes for a morning stroll in the park, holding hands. You infer they have been through hard times, but they had each other.
The theme, love sustains with a challenge is a key factor to the story, “Brigid”. Throughout the story, Owen and his wife are fighting over whether they should put Brigid in a nursing home. Owen then storms out of the house with rage (Lavin 318-321). You can assume that they have had this discussion many times before, with no avail. This shows the hopelessness Owen has for retaining their love. He seems to have given up on trying to make it work because Owen’s wife is being stubborn and not allowing him to keep Brigid on their property.
Owen displays his pessimistic attitude toward his wife when he pronounces, “In the town? And why didn’t somebody go to town, might I ask? ” (Lavin 318). This excerpt is taken when Owen’s wife does not get meat for their dinner. This creates a tense environment for the couple. They are speaking of something so little as not having meat in on of their meals. From this quote, you can tell that they do not have a strong relationship, and do not understand that their life will be okay without meat in a meal! To conclude, love sustains with a challenge wraps up the moral of the story.
In the song, “Bless The Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts, the band sings, “Hoping I would find true love along the broken road But I got lost a time or two” relates to “Brigid” in the sense that Owen’s wife did not understand how to find love. Owen’s wife sits at the water pump and realizes that; “I had failed him always, she thought, from the very start. I never loved him like he loved me…” (Lavin 324). This shows the realization of lost love. She then understood that there was nothing she could have done to fix the situation. He always loved her, but she never understood the reason of love.
Owen’s wife elaborates when she thinks, “I didn’t know enough about loving to change myself for him. I didn’t even know enough about it to keep him loving me” (Lavin 325). This describes how naive Owen’s wife was to love. She has the epiphany that she was too young to understand love. Marriage involves the love of two people, and the effort of the couple. If you aren’t willing to work through the ‘broken road’ you will find yourself lost and without love. Compassion and understanding of Owen created an interesting aspect in the story. Owen’s wife explains, “He gave it all to Brigid… How could love be wasted like that? (Lavin 325). Owen’s wife realizes she wanted Owen to deeply love her. However, Owen was giving his love to Brigid, so Owen’s wife calls it ‘wasted’. Owen’s wife believes that Brigid does not need love, because she is mentally retarded. This is shown when she says to Owen, “All I can say is God help the girls, with you, their own father, putting a drag on them so that no man will have anything to do with them after hearing about Brigid” (Lavin 318). To elaborate on this, Owen’s wife believes Owen should put Brigid in a nursing home because then, their daughters would find love, even though Brigid would not have any.
In the end, Owen’s strong compassion for Brigid ironically led to his demise. Additionally, Owen’s wife recognizes that she pretended to be someone she wasn’t for Owen. The author writes, “I was only making myself out to be what he imagined I was” (Lavin 325). This quotation is taken from Owen’s wife’s epiphany when she realizes the love for her husband was unreal. Throughout the story, Owen speaks of his wife always being kind to Brigid and loving her. After a series of unfortunate events, including Owen’s death, Owen’s wife realizes the life she was living was all a lie.
Not enough compassion, love, and lies led to the fall of Owen and his wife’s relationship. Because Owen’s wife did not understand love, over time, she realizes she had never really found it. After having the epiphany and understanding true love was yet to be found, Owen’s wife comes to the realization that Owen had lost his love for her and had only kept love for Brigid. Who do you love? Have you told them recently? Work Cited Lavin, Mary. “Brigid. ” The Language of Literature. Ed. Arthur N. Applebee. California. ed. USA: McDougal Little, 202. 317-325. Print.
Cite this Do You Really Love Me?
Do You Really Love Me?. (2019, May 01). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/do-you-really-love-me/