A Visit to Grandmother

by William Melvin Kelley

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What is Mama's attitude about the story?    

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In the short story, “A Visit to Grandmother” by Melvin Kelly Mama’s attitude toward the story of the horse and buggy ride starts out jovial. With detail, she describes her early apprehension about going on a ride with the horse that her son GL bargained for. The horse seemed skittish as it was hooked to the buggy, but soon settled. Mama’s daughter urges her to go enjoy a ride since she rarely got away from caring for her brood of ten children. Off she went to enjoy the ride. Unfortunately, the horse got upset at a certain point in the road and her son lost control. He begged Mama to do something. She says that somehow she jumped onto the horse’s back and regained control of the animal. She treated GL as the baby and says, “Don’t ask me how I did that; I reckon it was that I was a mother and my baby asked me to do something is all.”

After she tells the story, Charles expresses his dismay at the treatment his brother received. Charles’ deep-seated resentment surfaces. He says that he was not home when the incident occurred and if he had been, he would not have found it funny. In addition, he says he would have been punished for the same actions. His mother’s attitude changes as she reassures him that she loved all her children the same but gave them what they needed. GL needed more attention than Charles who was five years younger. As Charles retreats to his room, his brother arrives sporting his “five year old grin.”

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