Mary Moon

Mary Moon and the Stars

In the short story Mary Moon and The Stars by Janice Galloway there is one central character Mary Moon around whom the whole story revolves.   In this essay, I will demonstrate how the writer’s use of language encourages us to feel empathy towards Mary Moon.

The writer instantly demands our attention and makes us feel sympathy for the character Mary with her opening line.   “Mary Moon peed the floor the first day of school”.   You instantly feel embarrassed for Mary.   The writer then describes her appearance. She describes her as thin as string with white yellow hair that looks like rats-tails. We imagine a girl who is not being taken care off and this is clearly shown when the narrator says, “Her skin was see-through and she smelt like a cat’s cushion”.   The writer use of a simile indicates that her skin is sticking to her bones and her clothes are unwashed and smelly.  

It later becomes clear that the character Mary must fend for her self, as her mother does not rise from her bed.   This is noted by the narrator’s grandmother who observes and states, “the lassie takes the milk in when she comes back at night”. This lets us know that the mother is not playing an active role in her daughter’s life.   She does not seem to eat we know this by the   way the narrator describes her physique, and the narrator mother later states that she had given her extra chips as she “needs feeding up, Always did”.   The narrator is telling us that this has been a continual way of life for Mary and has been for a long time.

We also feel sympathy for Mary because of the way she is treated by other characters; she always has marks on her arms because she sits beside George Dickie who is known for pinching arms.   Yet no one seems to intervene or deal with this, it’s just accepted.   In addition, the grandma’s attitude condemns a person because of where they live and how they look.   The area that she lives in is described by the narrator as a, “Bombsite with...