Old Mortality By Anne Porter

Throughout Katherine Anne Porters Old Mortality, a variety of elements are
present. Some of which consist of romance, memories and the illusions instilled
upon the legendary status of Amy. All of these elements play a solid role
towards the persuasion of Miranda. They persuaded her into acting on certain
ideas that she pulled out of the stories about her Aunt Amy. Now even though
Aunt Amy was portrayed in a very special light, the elements that surrounded the
story did not exactly have a positive effect on Maria and Miranda. What this
paper is going to do is explain that all the above mentioned characteristics
play a positive and negative role on the lives of the two children, Maria and
Miranda. In the first chapter, Maria and Miranda were told the story about their
Aunt Amy and their very romantic Uncle Gabriel. People spoke of Aunt Amy in a
very loving way, but they masked the truth. They merely told the story the way
that they felt it should have been told. There is no problem with this in the
eyes of the brother and grandmother, but they neglect the idea that children at
this age are very impressionable. This is definitely a negative aspect towards
the exaggeration of how wonderful their Aunt Amy was. It carried the negative
following because of many reason demonstrated throughout the story. First is
that the buildup of Maria and Mirandas Aunt and Uncle were just the first
step towards a larger let down in all facets. The first time that Maria and
Miranda met Uncle Gabriel at the racetrack, after all of the good words spoken,
they had a false idea of what he looked like, talked like, and acted like. They
discovered that he wasnt the perfect looking man that he was made out to be,
and that he wasnt as elegant as described. He was merely a large, loud
spoken, sort of obnoxious gambler. He had a false identity stapled to him and
his surroundings. It wasnt just the fact that he did not meet the description
given to him, but the idea that things surrounding him were not all that they
were made out to be either. This was Mirandas first dose of reality, and not
just the stories that were being told to them. It was the first major
disappointment that either Miranda or Maria faced and that changed a lot of
things from that moment on. Mirandas childhood dream of becoming a horse
jockey, due to all the fond memories experienced and told to her, was changed
after she realized reality. On top of that, the idea of since their Aunt Amys
better half wasnt all he was made out to be; maybe she wasnt as perfect as
everyone claimed her to be either. This is a very negative force in the novel,
because it is the first step taken by Miranda to change her life and fall into
the same trap as her Aunt Amy did. Another negative aspect of the memories,
illusions, romance about Aunt Amy was that in the third chapter, Miranda is told
the real version of the story about her Aunt Amy by her Aunt Eva. Aunt Eva is a
chinless, feminist, Latin-teaching, spinster. They meet on a train ride to
Uncle Gabriels funeral, and that is when, during the train ride, that Aunt
Eva tells Miranda the whole story about her Aunt Amy. It wasnt a flattering
story, it revealed such issues about how Amy was addicted to sex and that she
was caught in some very compromised position. Not just about the scandal
involving Amy and the stranger being underplayed by the family, but also about
how maybe she did not die because of reasons believed, but maybe she committed
suicide. Aunt Eva made Aunt Amy look like a wreck loose youngster not afraid of
anything. She was wild, impure and not exactly in love, but looking for an
escape from family and reality. At the end of her time all of this caught up to
her and she had only one escape. This was the version told by Aunt Eva, and to
Mirandas surprise, she has lived almost an identical life so far. She has
participated in a broken marriage, she wants to escape the family mold and she
wants to be free and wild. One thing though, Miranda refuses to acknowledge that
this version of Aunt Amys life is any less romantic or true then the other
version that


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