writer is H.E Bates
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"Proper upbringing of children requires the constant attention of parents. The children of the parents, who cannot give proper time and attention, mostly get spoiled and become disobedient. This is the central theme of the short story, The Ox. The story points out the defects of late marriage. It also illustrates that miserly women cannot make good wives and good mothers.
Mrs. Thurlow was a poor hard working, miserly woman. She lived at the top of a hill with her husband and two children. She worked in various houses like an ox from dawn to dusk to earn her living. She had saved fifty-four pounds after fifteen long years of hard labour. She wanted to complete a hundred. She was worried about the future of her sons, but could not devote any time to their upbringing. Her husband was a hedge-cutter. He often remained away from home. It was because his wife was old, cold, unattractive and miserly. Mrs. Thurlow was quite cut-off from the world. Her only entertainment was the old news papers which she read in the evening. She was thick headed and unimaginative.
One Sunday, her husband entered the house very mysteriously and stole away her bag of savings. She became mad with grief when she discovered her loss. After some time, two police men brought the news that her husband had been arrested for murdering a man. She was not at all moved by this news. She was only thinking of her lost money. She asked the policemen if they had found some money in her husband's pockets. After that, she met her husband in jail just to enquire about her lost money.
Mrs. Thurlow's brother was a rich man. After the prosecution of her husband, her brother asked her to leave her sons at his house if she could not support them. She accepted the offer and left her children with her brother. The children got attracted by the rich living there. So, after some time, when she went there to take them back, they flatly refused to go back with her. They felt absolutely no love for her. This was the last unbearable shock for her. It was harder than the loss of money or the separation of her husband. The story tells us the tragedies in the lives of poor people. Poverty estranges children from parents and wives from husbands."
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