As we begin reading Mrs Turner Cutting the Grass, we see her as a comic character, who appears to us as a unique yet amusing character to us. We start off laughing at Mrs Turner, but when her history is exposed, we are no longer laughing at her .We sympathise with her. Carol Shields uses comic elements to achieve a serious effect. However, when we have more knowledge on Mr Coombes domestic history is exploited we mock him. Carol Shields uses comedy to challenge to our prejudices. She wants us to laugh at the Mrs Turner then think why are we laughing at her. H.G.Wells uses comedy to emphasise our prejudices and reinforce our prejudices.
In both Mrs. Turner Cutting the grass and The Purple Pileus, there are characters that show pity for the central characters. For example, the professor who meets Mrs Turner certainly pities her for her lack of class or taste, and lack of knowledge about temples. He makes his feelings known publicly and makes money from the consequent poem that follows. We feel superior to both characters that are why we mock them. The high school girls are reassured that they are apart of the society because they havent got cellulite thighs just like the professor believes he is intelligent because he can distinguish a Buddhist temple from a Shinto shrine
Shields exploits stereotypical judgements right from the beginning. In the opening paragraph, Carol Sheilds describes Mrs Turner as a sight. This is a slangy phrase, not a compliment. It is a negative thing yet we find it funny although it is unconventional. Then Shields goes on to say how Turner climbs into, which in other words means, struggles because she is fat. She wedges her feet into shoes; again, this means she struggles, probably because the shoes are too old and small. The adjectives Carol Shields uses to describe Mrs Turners gives us clues, that eventually builds up to an image of Mrs Turner in our heads.
We see the relationship between Turner and the neighbours amusing. concerned about the killex that Mrs Turner dumps on her dandelions. We understand that the sachers are very environmentally friendly; they see Mrs Turner as an eco-vandal. The neighbours are not ignorant of the problem caused, however they do not do anything in order to help or resolve the problem, which makes them jusyt as bad as Turner if not worse.
But we and¦proceed as it should. We find their perverse way of thinking acceptable, funny even. The Sachers see Mrs Turner as na¯¿½ve and do not want to be friends with her; they feel superior to her and believe they belong to a higher class. The serious point Carol Shield is trying to get across is that, everyone is intolerant with certain habits and lifestyle. We make snap judgements about people whose lifestyle may not be similar to ours. The Sachers make prejudicial and stereotypical judgements about Mrs Turner, even though they dont even know her.
The high school girls see Mrs Turner as a stereotype of what they will be like when they are older. It makes them queasy; it makes them fear for the future. Mrs Turner not covering her cellulites surprises the high school girls, because the girls know they wouldnt go out in public revealing their cellulites when they get to her age, they believe that Mrs Turner shouldnt do that either. Especially as the girls are intimate with the vocabulary of skincare. The girls also find this shocking, Mrs Turner doesnt know who Neil Young is. The High school, just around the corner from her house happens to be the very school Neil Young attended as a kid. The point Carol Sheild is trying to put across is that this women is so ignorant she doesnt even know folk-rock recording Neil Young is.
We find her ignorance very funny. Although we do not realise that not everyone past middle age knows the current great popstars. If we asked Mrs Turner when she was younger who the greatest popstars were, she would probably know. The attitudes the high school girls and the sachers have towards Mrs Turner are very prejudicial. The sachers believe that Mrs Turner does not fit into the society because of her lack of knowledge. There judgements are based on her physical appearance and lifestyle.