Amanda Fry Cindy Hanson English 100, Semester 1 6 October 2009 Changes Acknowledging Change can be portrayed from the four seasons through out a year, or just through a growing boy. In the short story “The Nursery” by Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum, a mother and son, Beth and David, work together in Beth’s Nursery because the young boy was suspended from school for a horrific accident. During this time Beth gains back the only thing she seems to be pleased with and that is control.
Ultimately, the story shows the relationship between Change and control. Lunstrum argues that David and the four seasons are symbols of change, seasons of the year are uncontrollable and through out the story the seasons show how her son David grows out of his mothers overpowering grip on him. While fall and winter are seasons known for death that is what happened with David and a former school mate creating the accident. In the fall, he wrestled for the team again… There’s been an accident, the coach kept repeating when he called Beth, You should come to the school…Explaining the situation, the school’s decision that he should be suspended for a while… I heard what you told him, I can keep him at home as long as need be… I run a business; he can help me. He’ll be better off here anyway. ” (Pg. 5 /37) David had accidentally killed a school mate at wrestling practice and Beth took control of the situation by keeping him close to her creating his own death; solitude with his mother, in her Nursery where she easily dominates the surroundings of her business and everyone in it. Spring is known for rebirth and a free start, during the spring in the nursery David starts to get along with Uri, a fellow worker, who is also part of Beth’s controlling environment, but not for long. “No smoking… your worried about the plants?…
It’s open air out here…there’s just a rule. ” (Pg. 39) once spring had started Beth slowly lost her grip on the two men, “In February, the spring stock arrived at the nursery… Beth asked Uri to come in on a Saturday, and she and David met him and began the work… He had taken David out the night before, she didn’t know where. ” (Pg. 44-45) Beth has the power over them at work but once they step out side the bounds of her nursery they leave her together such as David’s father had done.
David is the only man in the house, he symbolizes his father in ways Beth describes him. Yet just like his father he must leave her at some point too, although she can not let him go “It was only a week later that the coach had called. David was out with Uri…I thought David would want to hear the good news…so he should be back at school, I guess. Soon… Monday…Several times Beth had thought to tell him about the coach’s call…but stopped herself. ” (Pg. 0- 51) She is pleased with the control she has on David and because she is already loosing him to Uri she can’t bring her self to tell him he can go back to school, instead she feels he can just take on the family business and work with her. Beth seems unable to cope with any sort of change. During summer David breaks free for his mother and leaves with Uri, summer is a season of life and new beginnings and that’s where David ties in. “Don’t do that here, Beth said…Uri lit the cigarette and drew in a breath… Coach said David’s missed his chance now.
It’s too late for him to finish out the year… You’re strangling the kid… She reached up and struck Uri across the face…You can only control things for so long…With in a week Uri had come for his last paycheck, and David had packed his things into his old gym bag and left. ” (Pg. 52/53) Both Uri and David realize her need for control and escapes together from her and the nursery. Beth hit Uri across the face because he was becoming uncontrollable for example smoking in her nursery after she made it a rule that he couldn’t, and also that he was going to tell David about Beth not telling him he could go back to school.
Lunstrum succeeds in portraying her ideal message through her short story “The Nursery”. Instead of attacking the idea of an over baring mother she shows the relationship between the problems controlling people have, such as Beth and how people cop with change. Through out the four seasons even though there was a bad accident David seemed to have progressed through the season slowly growing out of his mother’s control. The Nursery was Beth’s control zone and all men in the story had left her because she pushed all who eventually became uncontrollable away.