Your Shoes (Michele Roberts)
Quick revise

A monologue from the point of view of a mother.

She is talking to the shoes, gradually we feel less sympathy for her.

Her daughter has run away, but she seems more concerned about how she feels than about her daughter.

She likes order in her life and hates the chaos that her daughter’s disappearance has caused.

She imagines the squalor that her daughter may now be living in and hates the idea of it, begging for money and maybe prostitution.

We hear about the cause of her disappearance, her father has called her some terrible things.

She takes the attitude that when she was young they weren’t spoilt and that they have given her everything she wanted, but this is contradicted by the curtain incident, which shows that they gave her everything they wanted her to have, not what she wanted.

She expresses unhappiness with the ‘mob’ she got in with at school.

She is surprised her daughter hasn’t taken her new shoes, but they are a reminder of her mother’s controlling nature and she would not want them.

They are not good at expressing feelings, which is ironic as that is what the passage is doing, but it is too late now.

Her attitude to her daughter shows she does not understand she is growing up.

She feels her daughter is ‘empty headed’ and labels both her and her friends as undesirables, showing her prejudices.

Her background may explain why she feels this way as she felt insecure as a child.

She dislikes her mother and feels her daughter is turning out like her.

Her own marriage turns out to be just a re-bound, so her whole life is based on a lack of love.

She feels a failure and that everyone is blaming her for this. She wallows in her own self pity.

There is a worrying sense of insanity at the end, she talks to the shoes as if they are her daughter and holds them close to her. Perhaps if she had done this when her daughter was there then none of this would have happened.


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