Low Visibility | Analytical essay

Analytical essay

When you never have been the victim of violence in a domestic relationship, it can be easy to ask “Why do they not leave?”. The victim is often extremely manipulated by their partner, which makes it difficult to put their foot down because of the uncertainty about how the partner would react.

Margaret Murphy concentrates precisely on this taboo in her short story “Low Visibility”, which follows the oppressed woman Laura, who gets the courage to beat the oppression.

As mentioned above, the short story focuses on the abusive relationship between Laura and John. However, it occurs to be a parallel story with riots on the street, which happens in chronological order.

At the beginning of the short story, the riots are shown in their TV, which considers being parallel to Laura and John’s conflicts at home; “She wishes she could protest, but has forgotten how” (p. 1, l. 15).

The quote highlights Laura’s condition of being oppressed, as she does not know how to protest against her husband anymore, while the crowd is protesting on the streets. Consequently, Laura is perceived as an anxious and withdrawn woman as “Every muscle in her body trembles with the effort of keeping still” (p. 1, l. 16), so John does not hurt her.

Since Laura once was a joyful woman, it is conspicuous that John has been able to make her completely the opposite by being violent but also by abusing her verbally with insults such as “vermin” (p. 1, l. 32) and “twitchy cow” (p. 3, l.

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