Why is time important in "All the Years of her Lifer This story is written in the minimalist style. The author gives very little detail to the backstory of the characters or to description. We enter the story in the midst of things - Alfred has already been stealing, we don't see the beginning of that. The reason Callahan does this is to focus the attention of the audience. The important part of this story is the coming of age that happens for Alfred, when ‘‘his youth seemed to be over’’. In his mother's reaction to his actions, Alfred is finally able to mature and to see outside of himself. ‘‘It seemed to him that this was the first time he had ever looked upon his mother." He recognizes the needs and feelings of others for the first time. This is a sudden realization, often common to a coming of age. Time is important here to portray that Alfred's change is the work of a moment, and not of a long series of events. Time is also important in limiting the audience so that Alfred's epiphany has more force. If Callahan had included more "time" in the story - more days, more events - than the quiet moment of Alfred watching his mother at the kitchen table would not have the force that it did. In "All the Years of Her Life" what does the mother's trembling hand symbolize? In Morley Callaghan’s short story, “All the Years of Her Life,” Mrs. Higgins' trembling hand represents all of the trials and tribulations of her life. Although she is able to remain outwardly calm under duress, after the fact, her trembling hand signals the release of her emotions. When Mr. Carr calls Mrs. Higgins to the pharmacy where her son works, the owner informs her that her son is a petty thief. She is able to reason with him so that he does not involve the police. This is not the first time her son had trouble keeping a job and his only reason for stealing was that he needed money to go out with his friends. As mother and son walk home, she shows her anger and asks him not to speak. When they reach home, she tells him to go to his room, almost as if he was a little boy. However, when he looks out at her making a cup of tea her hand is trembling. He realizes that he has seen her hand tremble at other times when she had to remain strong. “He watched his mother, and he never spoke, but at that moment his youth seemed to be over; he knew all the years of her life by the way her hand trembled as she raised the cup to her lips.” Suddenly, he sees his mother as a spent woman but more importantly, he begins to see himself as an adult. How are Mrs. Higgins and her son Alfred affected by certain events of the story "All the Years of Her Life"? After certain events occur, Alfred finally matures when he feels compassion for his mother as he attains insight into her character. The young man, Alfred Higgins, lives at home with his parents. He is the sole child there since his older brothers and sister have married and moved away. ...it would be all right for his parents now if Alfred had only been able to keep a job. One evening as he is leaving the drugstore where he is employed, Alfred is stopped by his employer Sam Carr, who asks him to empty his pockets. While Alfred challenges his employer's accusations, Mr. Carr remains firm until Alfred pulls out a compact, some lipstick, and two tubes of toothpaste. For this petty theft, Mr. Carr threatens Alfred with calling a policeman; however, the druggist phones Alfred's mother instead. Since Alfred's father is a printer and works nights, Mrs. Carr herself comes to the store with her hair hurriedly tucked under a hat and a coat covering whatever she is wearing. She enters with a quiet dignity and a slight smile on her friendly face. Speaking to Mr. Carr with great composure, she asks the druggist, "If you would only listen to me before doing anything." She reasons with Mr. Carr that sometimes "a little good advice" is better for a boy than being arrested by the police, and she asks Mr. Carr if he will permit Alfred to just accompany her home. All this time Alfred observes the exchange between his mother and Mr. Carr: Without being alarmed, while being just large and still and simple and hopeful, she was becoming dominant in the dimly lit store. 1 When Mr. Carr acquiesces and releases Alfred to his mother, she thanks him with a warmth and gratitude that moves the druggist to say, "Sorry we had to meet this way," as he clasps her hand. As mother and son depart and walk home, Alfred notices that her face is n

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