Feed on

Brown’s “Postman” contains a multitude of intimate details that help show the evolving relationship between the girls at the pony camp and Henry. Initially Henry laments at having to help his aunt and uncle at the camp. His first plan was work at an auto shop “retooling motorcycles” but the owner, having little money to spare, turns him down(189). Henry has a clear distaste for what his “aunt and uncle’s life has become” when they are pushed towards opening a pony camp at Stoke Charity as well as the girls themselves. What is very effective about this short story is the small painstaking details about how he sees them that appear continuously throughout. Such as “the way their mouths worked” and “letting them go roughly as though they were hot to the touch”. The power structure between himself and the girl campers I interpreted as a difference among the classes as well as him feeling used and literally and figuratively stepped on. This later transforms to Henry enjoying the power of being able to rescue them and “exploiting their dependence on him”(204). It feels to happen slowly due to the pace of the story although in reality much less than a month has passed.

Many of these details set the reader firmly in place but many also help develop the love story between Nicola and Henry. They are the center of the story, yes but, what is also effective is the relationships and alliances between the girls is also drawn out over the story. These relationships shift while their at play(riding) and everyday activities. The somewhat estranged relationship between his aunt, uncle and himself is also shown. It is hinted at earlier when the aunt asked if he had bought any books and much later when the uncle makes a poor attempt to joke about his lack of resemblance to his parents. It is not brought up again. I got the sense Henry was not that comfortable with his village life. His discomfort with “the burning of a wooden effigy of a traitor to the king at Guy Fawkes Day”(197). Henry is painted as a calm, observant but somewhat malcontented and I think it fit well with his age. I felt the way in which the other female and male character’s were written fit well with their ages as well.

Leave a Reply