Residents and Transients Essay

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In the following excerpt, Ryan emphasizes the struggles of Mason's heroines in facing change and their impulses either to cling to the security of the past or to look for something better in a new life.

"Old Things" demonstrates most poignantly the authority of the past in Mason's world. Cleo Watkins is perplexed by the modern predilection for an tiques, for she "has spent years trying to get rid of things she has collected.... She doesn't want to live in the past." Cleo does not perceive that her avoidance of life, her discontent with contemporary society, anchor her in a past that no longer exists. "Kids never seem to care about anything any more," she reflects bitterly when her grandchildren act oblivious to their cluttered surroundings, and "she has put a chain on the door, because young people are going wild, breaking in on defenseless older women." Cleo...

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This section contains 1,037 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Residents and Transients Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Residents and Transients from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.