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Summary and Criticism on the Story "The Ox"

Abid Taga always like to write about interesting stories, political issue and health.

This is a story of a mother.

This is a story of a mother.

"The Ox" is a tragic story of a typical mother. Who wants to secure the future of her children, but the course of fate never runs smoothly. It was written by H.E Bates. In this article, I write a summary of this story and criticize its idea.

Mrs. Thurlow, whose real name is Lil, is a bright example of devotion, hard work, sincerity and sacrifice. She is an aged and ugly woman. She has two sons. Furthermore, she wants to see them prosperous in life. In order to achieve her aim, she works very hard. But in spite of working hard like a beast of a burden. She is able to save only fifty-four pounds in fifteen years.

She got up early in the morning and, after doing some work at home, went out pushing her old rusty bicycle. Likewise, she works at four different houses for eleven hours. At six in the evening she came back lauded with washing, oilcans, pieces of wood and bundles of old newspaper. Sometimes, when people go out and there is no work, then she goes to the field and does different kinds of hard work. From nine to ten at night, she irons the cloth in candlelight. All this she does without thinking about herself. Her aim (better and a prosperous life for her children) was important for all these things. There was no rest or relaxation in her life except one. On every Sunday, she sits in the kitchen and reads old newspapers. In this way, she tries to find out the problem of other people. She reads happy and sad news impassively. Her impression does not change. Overwork and misery had made her impassive like an ox.

Her husband was a rogue to the backbone. He takes no interests in domestic affairs. He spent his time in eating and drinking. But Mrs. Thurlow was so contented and patient that she utter not a single word in protest. Thus was her normal behavior. She hides her emotions and avoid bursting out.

Mrs. Thurlow brother was a master carpenter. He lived four miles away from his sister in a village. He was a hard worker and ran his business properly. Not only that, but he was kind and wanted to help her sister but was helpless before his brother-in-law who was a rogue of backbone.

One day, Mrs Thurlow was reading the newspaper by sitting in the kitchen. Usually her husband came back home about 3O'clock. But on this Sunday he came back late and went in the yard. Mrs. Thurlow got up and went after him. In the yard, he was trying to hide something in his coat. She thought that it was a bill hook. His eyes were dangerous

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He got on his bicycle and came back about ten at night without the bicycle. Mrs. Thurlow became startled to find his bicycle missing. He went in the room. Mrs. Thurlow asked if he wanted to eat something. But he answered in negative. She heard that he was washing his hand in the sink again and again. She asked him if he wanted light, but again he answered in negative. His eyes were filled with fear. She thought that he was feeling guilt on his some work

Her husband kills a man. He steals her hard-earned money and run away. When the police man tells Mrs. Thurlow that a man is killed by her husband, she does not show any immediate reaction. But when she comes to know that her hard-earned money is stolen by her husband, then she cries like a child. She goes to prison to see her husband. But she does not ask him any questions. She shakes him forcibly and asked him about the stolen money

Fifty-four pounds could turn her dream to reality. She wants to give a better future to her children. Now she is seeing a dark and dismal future for her children. Like a carrying mother, she sends her children to her brother's home that they remain unaffected from their father crime. After a few days, her husband is sentenced to death. Now for the first time in her life, she feels the insignificance of money.

She thinks that she will start her life anew. She goes to her brother house to bring back her children, but they refuse to come back with her. She becomes stunned to hear it. She lost her husband for them even her dream (bright future of her children). She always tries to earn money for them, but they left him alone. She is walking with her head down, direction does not matter now. She comes back to home with empty hand.


After reading this story, we concluded that it is not fair to call Mrs. Thurlow an ox. She may be like an ox when she works hard without any relaxation. But as far as her passions are concerned, she can be called an emotional woman, but one who control her emotions. She is not a complaining or irritating woman. She is not materialistic. She wants to earn money not for her own comforts and luxuries but for her children whom she wants to see different from their father

She has been erroneously called an ox. Because when we observe her behavior minutely we come to the surprising conclusion that she is not impassive like an ox but patient not cold but calm not dull, but daring like an ox but patient not cold but calm and not dull but daring enough to face the poisonous shafts of fate.

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