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in a story “to set our house in order”,Margaret Laurence delicately portrays a few characters in order to indicate the theme that not everything caan be controlled as accidents might easily happen.
the character of grandermother macleod provides the main focus for this theme.she is a rigid, unpleasent woman, who has many troubles in her life.she believes that everything should be in order and tries to set her house in order. she also wants to be a lady.however real life destroys her dream. the great depression makes her unable to afford a housekeeper. the accident of her younger son almost kill her. she wants vannessa to become a lady like her.however,doesn’t agree with her. as a result,grandermother macleod can’t control her destiny.
in addition, this theme is demonstrated through other characters-uncle roderick,granderfather macleod and ewen. uncle roderick loses one of his eyes because of ewen’s mistake. then without proper sight,he is killed in the war.this tragedy is the result of an accident. on the other hand , ewen’s fate is changed by this tragedy when he decides to study medicine and give up his interest of being a sailor. also, granderfather chooses to be a doctor only because his father is a doctor.these characters destinies are determined by accidents.
this story is narrated through the eyes of vanessa.at the end of this story,having seen what happens to her family,vanessa gets the feeling that not everything is in order and things can be changed by accident. thus through her growing up awareness, the author points out the theme.
final story To Set Our House in Order by Margaret Laurence was a story
that showed different kinds of relationships between a grandparent and a
family. Unlike The other stories, Grandma Maclaod tended to have a
negative influence on the restof the family,in her own mind she
thought she was doing the right thing. In actuality she wasway too