The Problem With Oliver
The short story is about a girl named Fionnuala, whom goes to a local school, and she has a boyfriend named Oliver. She can’t tell her mother about Oliver, because she believes that her mother won’t let her see him, if see knew. Her mother is Irish, and therefore Fionnuala knows that she probably won’t like the name “Oliver”. She tells her mother, that she is going to practice with her orchestra, when she is in fact going to see Oliver.
They have a leprechaun tree in their yard, that covers their entire house, and Fionnuala wants her mother to cut it, but her mother won’t, because it’s a hawthorn tree and Irish folklore believes that the fairies live in hawthorn trees, and that they will take a terrible revenge, if you damage their home. Fionnuala and Oliver had talked about having sex, so Fionnuala finds it a good idea to take the key from Grainne, to their beach hut for the next day, but then she wonders if it’s really what she wants.
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The next day, the key is gone, and Fionnuala runs out in the rain, and into a phonebox. She calls Oliver, and tells him that it can’t be tonight, because her mother knows about it. And when she gets back home, her mother is gone, but she has left a letter that says, that she can bring him home tomorrow, because she would like to meet him. Fionnuala Fionnuala is a teenager, who is deeply in love with Oliver and it seems like she is spending all her time on him.
Her mother once told her not to give them what they want, because it would save her a lot of trouble later on, and even though, the relationship between her and her mother isn’t that good, she still listens to her mother’s advice, and wonders if having sex with him is the right thing to do, because she knows that it’s wrong to do it, just to do it, and not because you actually want to. But she thinks, that she is far too old not to have done it, so maybe she feels pressured to do it.
She is very embarrassed of her mother, because she is so into all these Irish myths. And everyone at her school knows it, but because Oliver goes on a private school outside Southwold, she has to try and explain it to him. She is very mad about the tree in their yard; she thinks it’s silly that her mother won’t cut it, because she doesn’t believe that her mother believes in fairies. She is also embarrassed by her name, because she was named for a mythological princess who was turned into a swan.
And she doesn’t want Oliver to know that. Fionnuala and her mother doesn’t communicate that well, and Fionnuala finds her mother annoying. It annoys her when her mother is talking about the sacred Irish folklore. And when they talk, Fionnuala speaks in a bad vibe and you can see that she doesn’t really want to talk to her mother. Her mother on the other hand, is trying to do the best she can, even though she knows that Fionnuala is annoyed by her weird stories about the Irish folklore.
Fionnuala doesn’t want to be like her mother, so she has straightened her hair just to look different. It also says in the text that the leprechaun tree stands in the middle of them, and creates a distance between them. Fionnuala is simply a teenager, who easily gets annoyed by her mother, and even more, when her mother is so into Irish folklore, because it embarrass her. The main theme in this story is the relationship between a mother and her daughter.
In this story it shows that even when a mother and her daughter don’t get along, her daughter still listens to her mother’s advice. And that it isn’t always true, what you think about your mother, she isn’t as stupid as Fionnuala thinks. Fionnuala believes that her mother will never accept that she has a boyfriend, but in the end her mother is really fine with it, and Fionnuala sees that maybe there wasn’t anything to worry about, and that her mom really is cooler than she thought.