The mother

Clara's mother is unnamed, and her outer characterisation in “Clara’s Day” by Penelope Livelytells us that she is probably separated from Clara’s father and dating an actor named Stan. We also know that she “worked part-time as a dentist’s receptionist” (p. 52, ll. 25-26).

Inner characterisation

Her inner characterisation first suggests that she does not take her job very seriously, and she is more concerned with pleasing her boyfriend, Stan: “…she worked when it suited her. Afternoons, nowadays’ often didn’t suit because Stan, her friend, who was an actor, was only free in the afternoons.” (p. 53, ll. 27-29)

In her relationship with Clara, her attitude first suggests that she does not care about her daughter and does not know Clara very well. When the girl returns from school she doesn’t give her too much attention: “ ‘Any news?’ which was what she said most days.” (p. 53, l. 32); “Presently she yawned, pushed the magazine over to Clara and went upstairs to have a bath.” (p. 54, ll. 1-2). Notice that the mother does not ask Clara about how her school day was, her homework, or other typical questions that would show interest. Furthermore, the fact that she hands to her teenage daughter a magazine with an article about sex, suggests that she does not pay too much attention to Clara’s education.

We also find out that her boyfriend Stan sleeps over, which suggests that she is not really concerned with what Clara might think of her relationship...

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