Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 22 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People.
This section contains 519 words
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Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People Summary & Study Guide Description

Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People by Lorrie Moore.

The following version of this story was used to create this study guide: Moore, Lorrie. “Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People.” Birds of America. New York: Vintage Books, 2010. Pages 26 – 46.

The story follows Abby Mallon, a woman who works for a standardized test company. She writes questions for tests, and because she is very introverted, she enjoys the generally solitary nature of the work. However, one day, she is promoted to a position that heavily involves public speaking. She begins a process of introspection to determine how she can overcome her fear of public speaking. During this process, she realizes that her marriage is unfulfilling. She is married to a generally inarticulate man named Bob. She decides to leave her husband and to take a trip to Ireland before beginning her new job. She believes that a trip may help her become more courageous, and she also wishes to visit the famed Blarney Stone. It is said that kissing the stone bestows the gift of eloquence on a person.

Abby is joined on the trip by her widowed mother, Mrs. Mallon. They fly on an airplane to Dublin airport and rent a car. As they drive, Abby is enchanted by the beauty of Ireland. However, the presence of her mother grates on her. Her mother is bold and courageous, while Abby is generally more anxious. They stop at a rope bridge, and Abby waits in the car while her mother goes to look at and walk on the bridge. Abby feels for a moment that she misses her husband Bob. As they continue to drive around Ireland, Mrs. Mallon occasionally tells Abby that she should resume her marriage with Bob. Mrs. Mallon says that one should not expect lofty and romantic things out of marriage; she says that her own marriage was straightforward and practical. At one point, they stop to look in a store. Mrs. Mallon plays with a toy marionette in the store and seems fascinated by it. She then admits to Abby that she never had a carefree childhood, as her own mother placed many responsibilities upon her.

Several days into the trip, they eventually arrive at Blarney, and they wait in line to see the Blarney Stone. Abby becomes anxious and does not wish to kiss the stone, as the act involves lying on one’s back over a parapet. However, Mrs. Mallon urges Abby to do it, so Abby does it quickly. Abby is then shocked to see fear on her mother’s face as her mother takes her turn to kiss the stone. Abby realizes that her mother’s usual bravado is merely an act to cover up her fears. They go to a nearby pub, and Mrs. Mallon admits that she only walked on the rope bridge for a few moments before crawling on her hands and knees back to solid land. Abby feels that she has gained a sense of newfound confidence in herself and appreciation for her mother. Abby gives a toast in honor of her mother, and her mother seems deeply pleased.

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