Ruthie

Outer characterization

Ruthie (possibly an informal version of ‘Ruth’) is the main character of the short story “How I Learnt to be a Real Countrywoman” by Deborah Moggach. She is also the first-person narrator, so all the events are described from her perspective. Ruthie’s outer characterization reveals that she is a young woman who is married to a man named Edwin (l. 5), and who has three small children (l. 19). She is also educated, as she mentions having been to university (l. 289). She lives with her family in a “pretty, but not pretty enough to be protected, part of Somerset” (ll. 34-35), in the countryside. There, Ruthie keeps herself busy with “organic gardening” (l. 161) and with selling eggs (l. 82). Readers are soon informed, however, that the organic gardening is a trick:

So I came to the country green, as it were. And after a year of organic gardening all I had learnt was how to drive into Taunton, buy most of the stuff at Marks and Spencers and then pretend it was ours. It's so tiring, being organic. (ll. 160-163)

Ruthie was raised in Kensington and enjoyed life in the city: “I was brought up in Kensington and spent my childhood with my nose pressed against shop windows, first toys then bikes then clothes. Unlike Edwin, I have always been an enthu...

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