ShortstoryThursday, February 20, 2014 Morley Callaghan’s Portrayal of Themes As a teenager did you understand and appreciate your parents love and loyalty? Often in literature, short stories have themes that are targeted to children to try to teach them a valuable lesson. Similarly, the short story “All the Years of Her Life” (Morley Callaghan) has 2 central themes that include moral growth and motherly devotion. Early in the story, Alfred’s emotional dependency and lack of maturity are highlighted; he is caught with theft and relies on his mother to dismiss him from the consequences.
Afterwards, Alfred and his mother arrive to their house and Alfred discovers his mother to be alone and broken. The author explains, “… he knew all the years of her life by the way her hand trembled. ” (Callaghan 66) Surly, Alfred’s capacity to achieve the understanding through all the years of her life implies moral growth. He understands how much his mother does for him and how his actions affect her too. In addition, Callaghan states, “It seemed to him this was the first time he had ever looked upon his mother. ” (Callaghan 66) The boys view on his mother changes and maturity takes place.
He finally sees his mother as a mother and not just a person. From what has been said, one can see Mrs. Higgins displays strong motherly devotion towards her son. Meanwhile, on her and Alfred’s walk home from the drug store, it is clear that she is living under great stress. This is suggested when she bitterly says, “You’ve disgraced me again and again. ” (Callaghan 65) With this in mind, the reader assumes the mother to be at breaking point; therefore feeling appreciative to the audacious effort she makes to provide a calm behaviour to Mr. Carr. On the other hand, the author concludes, “Alfred saw that she was really only half dressed.” (Callaghan 66) In all likelihood, she rushes to the drugstore without getting properly dressed because the only thing that is on her mind is her son’s welfare. She’s willing to overcome the immensity of her own life to rescue her son. Furthermore, at the drug store, Mrs. Higgins suggests, “… a little good advice is the best thing for a boy when he’s at a certain period in his life. ” (Callaghan 64) This shows that Mrs. Higgins does not want the police to get involved with the situation because she has faith in her son to overcome his troubled habits. In brief, this makes the reader understand that Mrs.
A mother is like a flower that grows before the eyes of her kids. I never knew how much my mother meant to me until I became an adult. In today's society the younger generation fail to understand the importance of having their mother in their lives. It seems like they forgot who carried them for nine months, clothed, and fed them. Most children thought that they were wiser than their mother. In ...
Higgins cares and worries for her son’s wellbeing. In conclusion, the themes of moral growth and motherly devotion are shown in various ways throughout the short story “All the years of her life. ” (Morley Callaghan) Alfred develops morally by understanding all the years of his mother’s life and by looking upon his mother from a different perspective. Motherly devotion is portrayed by Mrs. Higgins putting herself before her son and overcoming her problems to help him. At the same time, this theme is displayed by her believing in her son. As one can see, these two themes are a crucial part of the story.