Brrigid By Mary Lavin Analysis

We are all distinguished by our motives. Our words, actions, and values are driven by our priorities; the things we deem important. When our motives conflict with those of our significant others, we often struggle to understand one another, and our misunderstandings can easily progress to mutual hostility. In Mary Lavin’s story, “Brigid,” a husband and wife experience marital conflict due to their contrasting motives, but the wife eventually adjusts her priorities to accommodate her husband’s primary interest; his daft sister, Brigid. At first, she believes that Brigid is nothing more than a burden to their family, somehow hindering the opinion of eligible young men who may otherwise take interest in their daughters. The story develops around …show more content…
She encourages him to place Brigid in a facility because “it’s for her own good.” The wife still cares for Brigid’s well-being and comments that she “could cry sometimes” when she thinks about her. She tries to evoke sympathy so that her husband might put away Brigid for the sake of their daughters. She’s a resilient woman who refuses to give up on the topic; she finds new approaches and strategies to argue her point to her husband.
Despite her bitter attitude toward Brigid, the wife still cares for her well-being to some extent. She tells her husband to bring clean sheets to Brigid, and while looking for her husband outside, the wife was “about to turn back but it seemed unnatural not to call to the door and see if the poor creature was alright.” The wife felt a need to check on Brigid; if she truly did not care about Brigid, she would have left without a second thought. The wife doesn’t agree with her husband’s decision to keep Brigid at home, but she still accepts the responsibility of looking after her basic
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The wife realizes that she never made an effort to understand her husband or show genuine kindness to Brigid. Earlier in the day, her husband had commented, “You used to bring her bunches of primroses. . . you used to say she was a harmless poor thing. You used to say you’d look after her.” The wife reflects on this at the water pump, realizing that “it wasn’t for Brigid, like he thought.” She had only ever been pretending to be someone who her husband could love. Her previous motives had always been to appear kind, but she failed at actually loving

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