Family Bond and Traumatic Pathology in Alice Munro's "The Bear Came Over the Mountain"

Mohammad Shahidul Islam Chowdhury
2013 Stamford Journal of English  
Alice Munro (1931-), Canadian author and winner of the Man Booker International Prize in 2009, has written a number of short stories. "The Bear Came Over the Mountain" is a story of love, romantic affairs, family relationship, enigma of romance and psychological disorientation. The story reveals family bond through mental depression and physical inability, which, to a large extent, are traumatic. Munro's presentation of human relationship and family bond gets a new dimension from
more » ... from psychopathological point of view. The story reveals a bizarre relationship between two unacquainted families, members of which suffer from two different types of trauma: psychic hysteria and physical immobility. Munro shows the effect of such frenzy on individuals as well as on societal connection. This paper attempts to illustrate, from psychoanalytic point of view, the nature of traumatic pathology and its testimony in the lives of individuals and how its outcome can be a major device in understanding human relationship. "The Bear Came Over the Mountain" is a story of love and psychological disorientation. Alice Munro portrays two families in a suburban area in Ontario in Canada. The family around which the story develops comprises the husband Grant, a retired university professor, and his wife Fiona, a former hospital employee. This couple is childless. The other family has a paralyzed husband Aubrey, his wife Marian, housewife, and a son, who, along with his wife and children, lives far away from the parents. These two families are not related with each other, nor are they located in the same area. As the story proceeds, some secrets and past life of the characters are brought to light. These happenings leave their marks on the lives of these individuals with a strong sense of helplessness yet responsibility. Munro attributes universality on the characters as the surnames of the families are not mentioned. Her intention is obvious: these are real-life characters who can be met anywhere. Fiona, circling whom the story evolves, used to live in her parents'
doi:10.3329/sje.v6i0.13906 fatcat:kce6wb4htbfb3ddbc5quwl7xqe