CSEC Literature-Notes on Frangipani House by Beryl Gilroy

Mama King’s Attitudes to Living in a Home (attitudes to ageing)

  • She seems resentful of the fact that she has spent her entire life caring for her children and their children, and now it seems she has been abandoned by them when she needs the care of family. This is why she is so resistant to the ways of the home.
  • On the other hand, she feels as if she is a burden to her family, and as a result they had to place her in the home because they could no longer care for her. This upsets Mama King because she has been independent for her whole life and so feels crippled by the need to depend on the home staff to do everything for her.
  • Being confined in the home restricts Mama King and frustrates her, making her feel like a “bee in a bottle.” In addition, she is even more frustrated by the fact that she can see and hear the outside world but cannot actually interact with it.
  • The fact that Mama King is in the home reflects the fact that society considers the elderly a burden and as a result, relegate them to live out their years in institutions such as Frangipani house. In addition, the treatment of the residents by the nurses, namely Nurse Agnes and Matron highlights how rough and indifferent the nurses/ caretakers in these institutions are to the residents. These internal views of the nursing home system help the readers identify with Mama King’s plight and allow us to understand her feelings.

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