In the short narrative we are introduced to a household taking their hebdomadal weekend trip to their bungalow in the countryside. For the most portion. the narrative takes topographic point at the bungalow itself. and here we get a good penetration into the family’s. and particularly Martha’s. life. The subjects in this narrative are old vs. new norms and traditions associating to gender-roles within matrimony and society.
From the get downing the 3rd individual storyteller introduces us to Martha. a middle-aged adult female of 38. who is married to Martin and together they have 3 kids. It is through Martha’s eyes that the narrative is told. We meet Martha and the household as they are about to pass their weekend at their country-house. This peculiar weekend is likely non much different from most other weekends. and this you can see in the rubric every bit good. because the rubric is indefinite and is called “Weekend” and non “The Weekend” . Martha is seeking to be a duteous house-wife at the same clip as being a calling adult female. In kernel. she is one large contradiction. seeking to blend the functions of the traditional house-wife with the modern independent calling adult female and wanting to be a “super woman” . as described on page 312. Ultimately. she is forced to take the former since Martin strongly disapproves of her seting her calling before her household. This is illustrated by her sudden consciousness on page 319. that she won’t be able to make any work on her work undertaking. because all of the clip has been spent on domestic responsibilities and be givening to Martin’s invitees.
Martin. in contrast to Martha. in many ways still appreciates the old traditional gender-roles: the adult male working to supply for the household. and the adult female executing the domestic responsibilities. It is surely something that he doesn’t attempt to conceal. and it is possible to detect the gender roles really clearly when they are fixing to travel to the bungalow: while Martha is hotfooting around the topographic point acquiring everything and everybody ready. Martin. after coming place from work. is watching the Television upstairs. and merely comes down when all is packed and ready: “Martin would merely catch the BBC 2 intelligence. while Martha cleared away the tea table [ … ] ” Martin seems to bask the idea of him. the adult male. being the caput of the household. and as a consequence. sees Martha as a spot low-level. This has left Martin as the dominant member in their relationship and Martha most of the clip merely performs her domestic responsibilities without much complaining. Therefore. it is. because of the obvious deficiency of anchor in Martha’s personality. easy for Martin to take advantage of her. and this he most surely does. He orders her around and she feels that she must make everything in her power to delight him. even when it comes to her visual aspect. Whether it is done unconsciously or on intent. he ever someway makes Martha feel ashamed. or experience like everything is her mistake.
This makes Martha really unsure about how to populate her life: if she is rigorous and does her responsibilities with a steadfast manus. she gets the message from Martin that she should buoy up up. and if she is excessively insouciant. when jobs arise. Martin remarks that she should hold done her responsibilities better. Either manner she can non win. This is seen on the Sunday on page 319-320: “”Anyway. you do excessively much for the children” said Martin. “It isn’t good for them. Have a drink. ” [ … ] “Don’t imbibe excessively much” said Martin and told them of Martha’s suspended driving licence. ” It is evident that Martha’s strained life is taking a toll on her head and organic structure. to the point were she is moving a spot brainsick. On Saturday Martin’s best friend Colin arrives with his new girlfriend Katie. Katie is an independent. beautiful adult female who. in contrast to Martha. neither has husband nor childs. Martha admires Katie and gets a spot moony each clip she thinks of Katie’s life style – which is a more modern life style and is designed to hold merriment.
Colin’s old married woman Janet had had much more in common with Martha. but had now been replaced by Katie because Colin had become progressively rich and celebrated. The fact is that Katie is the exact antonym of Martha. This besides applies to the manner she handles Colin. because Katie is in control of her adult male. in contrast to Martha. A good illustration of this is when Katie discovers that Colin carries a image of Janet and their childs in his billfold. Katie storms off. and Colin is forced to fire the image in order to fulfill Katie. Martha is non happy with what she has become and she easy detects the manner people look down on her. including Katie. She suspects that it is her female parent and her childhood that is the ground why she has become this sad individual in her ain eyes and others. The narrative comes to an terminal when Jenny. their oldest. gets her first period. This should be a happy and joyful minute for Jenny. but Martha all of a sudden breaks down and can’t halt weeping. In world. Martha realises that Jenny is going a adult female and that it is possible that Jenny will confront the same gender inequality that Martha experiences.
The ground why Fay Weldon has written this short narrative is to portray gender inequality and particularly male laterality within a relationship. This is seen when it is Jenny. a female. and non one of the male childs that triggers Martha’s realisation of the possibility that her ain childs will fall foul to gender inequality. Fay Weldon besides portrays a figure of possibilities of the beginnings of Martha’s character. and to why she is the manner she is. On the one manus. as mentioned earlier. Martha is cognizant of the manner she is. and is confirmed in it through the eyes of practically each individual in the narrative. She blames her female parent and a lonely childhood for what she has become. and this you could state is a likely cause.
On the other manus. there are a batch of antecedently mentioned things that indicate that it is Martin’s mistake that Martha isn’t basking life. as is Katie for illustration. but instead Acts of the Apostless like a baffled individual. In the terminal I think that it is a mixture of the two that have helped do Martha into the individual that is described in the short narrative. It is perchance because of her childhood that Martin has found it so easy to pull strings Martha’s scruples and do her feel like everything is her mistake.