The short story begins with threebrothers and one sister around a table, theyseem to be in a kind of bad mood; Mabel,the sister, is always apathetic about herbrothers are saying to her. While we experience a briefdescription of the characters Mabel and Joewho is the eldest brother, the narrator tellsabout a cavalcade that is passing by theirhouse. Later, we have a description of Fred,the second brother, and Malcolm, theyoungest one, is just announced in thestory. Then, they start asking Mabel aboutwhat she is going to do, apparently about ajob and a place to live. She keeps the samebehavior as before, she did not answer tothe questions. Jack Ferguson, a doctor,enters in the story and they talk about hiscold and about the moving of the brothers.
Then, we have a description of the Later, he meets Mabelfamily’s history. Their father was a again, she is going to a pondhorse-dealer and they were rich, but and suddenly she drowns in thenow their father was dead and they all pond. He save her and takes her toare poor. At this point, the reader her house. There, he undresses her,knows about her mother, who is puts dry cloths and give her whisky.already dead, and her sister who went She opens her eyes and says that heaway, giving an idea of how lonely she loves her. At this moment, theis. narrator describes a strange In that afternoon, she takes a fascination that Jack has aboutbag, with some objects in there, goes Mabel; he is completely enchanted byto a graveyard next to a church and her as she continues to say that hearranges some chrysanthemums in a loves her.cross. She fells “connected” with her After a kiss, he confessesmother doing that. Then, the doctor that he loves her. But, in the very endsees Mabel at the graveyard but he of the story Mabel is frightened byonly stares at her, he feels attracted to Jack’s intonation when he says thather in some way. he wanted her, she is not sure if he really loves her.
•Mabel •role of women in•Joe society is constantly an•Fred issue. •The true idea of love•Malcom •Psychological issue•Dr. Jack Ferguson •depressed and desperate
born Jan. 6, 1931, New York, N.Y.,U.S.) U.S. novelist. Doctorow workedas an editor and has since taught atcolleges and universities. His best-selling novels have often focused onthe working class and thedispossessed of earlier decades in theU.S. The Book of Daniel (1971)concerned the Rosenberg spy case.Ragtime (1975; film, 1981)incorporates actual early 20th-century American figures. Loon Lake(1980), Worlds Fair (1985), and BillyBathgate (1989; film, 1991) examinethe Great Depression and itsaftermath. City of God (2000),concerns the efforts of a New YorkCity Episcopal minister to renew hisfaith.
"Willi" by E.L. Doctorow,from American Short Story Masterpieces
•Willi •Psychological•Mother •Loss of innocence•Father •- the story strikes the•Ledig(The Tutor) familiar Oedipal note