Summary (Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition)
Mary Lavin’s “The Will” is set in rural Ireland; in such a rural locale, the people tend to be excessively concerned about respectability and to be afflicted with a meanness of spirit. The story begins soon after the mother’s will has been read by a solicitor. The four children then discuss the consequences of the mother’s cutting Lally out of the will. What follows is a series of contrasts, and some conflicts: between the children who remained in the rural Irish town—Kate, Matthew, and Nonny—and Lally, who left home at an early age for the city and marriage.
The first contrast is between the practical, and socially respectable, desire of the other children to provide Lally with some of the money taken away from her by the will and Lally’s steadfast refusal to violate her mother’s wishes. Kate takes the lead and prods Matthew to suggest that each of them will contribute to Lally a part of the money they received. Their concern seems, for the most part, to be for what people will say rather than for their sister. Matthew says, “We won’t let it be said by anyone that we’d see you in want, Lally.” Lally, however, resists their attempt to circumvent their mother’s will; she believes that such a plan would be in violation of her mother’s wishes and that, if her mother did not wish her to have the money, she should not have it. Lally has a sense of fairness and justice that contrasts with the others’ attempt to preserve...
(The entire section is 1084 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of The Will Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!