Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 651
When Laura turned seventeen, Winifred planned a debut for the teenager. However, Winifred did so without telling Laura about it. Iris tried to warn Winifred that Laura might not go along with her idea, but Winifred ignored Iris’s warnings. Winifred was determined to find a husband for Laura with or without the official societal debut. Winifred confided to Iris that she was hoping to find a rich bachelor who was too stupid to realize that Laura had psychological problems. When Iris asked Winifred what she thought Laura’s problems were, Winifred stated that Laura was a bit odd. For example, Laura had told Winifred a few days prior that she did not think marriage was very important. Laura had added that only love was necessary. Winifred was concerned that with an attitude like that, Laura was bound to get into trouble. That was why Winifred suggested that they marry Laura off to some unknowing man and then encourage Laura to have extramarital affairs, if that was what she wanted.
In February Winifred and Richard told Iris they had committed Laura to a mental institution. They said Laura had “snapped.” Laura had been volunteering at a hospital, where she helped some of the poorest patients—a job Winifred had said she could never have done. However, one day Laura went into a rage while working. Laura also claimed she was pregnant.
After determining that Laura was at risk of hurting others as well as herself, Winifred and Richard signed papers to have Laura taken to the BellaVista Sanctuary, where she would remain until the psychiatrist determined that she was no longer a threat to herself or others. They did this without informing Iris or allowing Iris to see her sister. When Iris demanded to visit Laura, Winifred and Richard told her that this was impossible because the doctor had told them Laura needed time alone without any family interference. The doctor, apparently, had told Winifred and Richard that he believed Laura was extremely jealous of Iris. This statement insinuated that Laura was not really pregnant but had become confused about her own identity and took on Iris’s pregnancy as her own. This made Iris wonder if Laura was really pregnant and that Richard and Winifred had sent Laura away to hide the fact.
In April, Iris gave birth to her daughter, Aimee. At the birth, Winifred said the baby was very dark. Winifred had expected Iris and Richard to have created...
(The entire section contains 651 words.)
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