London Transports Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the topic of "Shepherd's Bush" and what does the story signal for the following stories?

"Shepherd's Bush" deals in a frank manner with abortion. Placing it at the beginning of the collection of stories signals that the volume will not skirt controversy, and women in affairs with married men is a common theme.

2. What is May's situation in "Shepherd's Bush"?

May is an underpaid hotel manager in Dublin, Ireland, who finds herself pregnant by her boss, Andy, and flies to London for a secret abortion. She stays with Celia, a judgmental but reliable acquaintance, who puts her in touch with Dr. Harris, who refers her to a surgeon, Dr. White.

3. Why is May especially skittish about having the abortion?

Abortion is illegal in Ireland, so she flies to London. By all appearances, many Irish women do the same. May fears that her moralistic friend Celia will try to talk her out of it, but Celia says nothing. The two sides of the argument are dealt with in summary, not being allowed to overwhelm May's story.

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