The Address Summary in English Marga Minco

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The Address Summary in English Marga Minco

About the Poet Marga Minco

Poet Name Marga Minco
Born 31 March 1920 (age 100 years), Ginneken en Bavel, Netherlands
Spouse Lambertus Hendrikus Voeten (m. 1945–1992)
Awards P. C. Hooft Award, Ferdinand Bordewijk Prize
Movies Het Bittere Kruid
Nationality Dutch
Marga Minco - the address summary in english class 11
Marga Minco

The Address Theme

This story is a touching account of a girl who goes in search of her mother’s belongings after the Second World War in Holland. But even after finding what she so much wanted to touch, to see, to feel and remember, she leaves everything behind as it could not bring her dead mother back. She decides to move on and live with only memories of the former times. The address that held so much importance till she visited that place, lost its value and the girl realised that it could get her nothing but pain.

The Address About the Characters

The Daughter: She is the narrator, who returns to Holland to go to the address where her mother’s precious belongings were kept. As normalcy had returned after the Second World War in Holland, she wanted to see all possessions that were a bond between her family and herself.

Mrs S – The Narrator’s Mother: In the story, the narrator’s mother has been called as Mrs S. She was a simpleton who could not see the manipulating and fraudulent nature of Mrs Dorling, her acquaintance. She trusted Mrs Dorling and allowed her to keep all her precious belongings for the time being.

Mrs Dorling: She has been described as an old acquaintance of‘Mrs S. After a long gap, she appeared again during the war. She possessed a cunning personality. She is most reluctant to recognise the daughter and does not allow her to enter the house.

The Address Summary in English

Mrs Dorling’s Indifferent Attitude Towards the Narrator
The narrator knocked at the door of a house, but the door was opened only a little. She asked the owner if she knew her. The narrator told her that she was Mrs S daughter. But the owner of the house, Mrs Dorling, denied knowing her. Mrs Dorling’s face gave absolutely no sign of recognition and she kept staring at her without speaking any word.

The narrator thought that perhaps she was mistaken and had rung the wrong bell. Then the narrator got a glimpse of her mother’s green knitted cardigan which Mrs Dorling was wearing. This confirmed to her that she had reached the correct address. But Mrs Dorling excused herself by saying that she could not talk to the girl that day and she should come again later. Then she shamelessly closed the door.

Someone Watching the Narrator from the Window
The narrator stood for some time on the steps even after the door closed. Someone was watching her from the bay window. The girl presumed that someone other than Mrs Dorling must be watching her and must have asked why the narrator came there.

The Narrator Remembers What her Mother had Told her
After this refusal, the narrator walked back to the station thinking about her mother. Her mother had given her Mrs Dorling’s address years ago. It had been in the first half of the war. The narrator’s mother told her about Mrs Dorling, an old acquaintance.

She also informed her that every time when Mrs Dorling came, she took something home with her. The reason Mrs Dorling gave for her actions was that she wanted to save all the good things, as the narrator’s mother would not be able to save everything if they had to leave suddenly. The narrator’s mother had accepted the idea. She was rather obliged towards Mrs Dorling that she was carrying such heavy luggage every time she visited, as it was really risky during the war.

The Narrator Remembers When She Met Mrs Dorling
The narrator arrived at the station without having paid much attention to things on the way. She was walking in familiar places again for the first time since the war. She didn’t want to upset herself with the sight of streets and houses full of memories from a previous time. In the train she remembered the first time when she had seen Mrs Dorling. It was the morning after the day her mother had told her about Mrs Dorling, who was wearing a brown coat and a shapeless hat. The narrator had asked from her mother if she lived far away, as she was carrying a heavy case. Her mother told her that Mrs Dorling lived at Number 46, Marconi Street.

Initially the Narrator was Reluctant to See the Family’s Old Belongings
The narrator had remembered the address, but waited a long time to go there. Initially after the war was over, she was not interested in all their belongings lying with Mrs Dorling. She was afraid to see the things that had belonged to her dead mother. She did not want to see their belongings lying in Mrs Dorling’s house in boxes and cupboards and needing to be put back in their old places again. She was scared that the things might make her very nostalgic. But gradually her life became normal again and one day, she became curious to know about all the possessions.

The Narrator Decides to Visit Again
After her first visit did not yield any result, she decided to visit a second time. This time a girl of about fifteen opened the door, as her mother was not at home. The narrator asked about Mrs Dorling. She was told that Mrs Dorling was not at home. She followed the girl along the passage. She noticed an old-fashioned iron candle-holder which they never used. They went into the living-room.

The narrator was horrified. She found herself in the midst of their old belongings, but they oppressed her as they were kept in strange surroundings and in a very tasteless manner. She was hurt to see her family’s belongings lying in a tasteless way with the ugly furniture and muggy smell. The table cloth, the silver cudery and even the still life showing the apple on the tin plate belonged to her family.

The Narrator’s Keen Observation of Mrs Dorling’s Daughter
She was keenly observing the girl, who had a broad back similar to that of Mrs Dorling. The girl was placing tea¬cups for tea to be served. She was pouring tea from a white teapot which had a gold border on the lid and then she took out some spoons from the box. All this crockery and cudery belonged to the narrator’s family, but perhaps the girl was not aware of this fact. She cracked a joke about eating dinner in those antique plates. The narrator also found a burn mark on the table cloth. The narrator indirecdy hinted to the girl that they missed things which are either missing from their original place or have been loaned to somebody.

The Narrator Remembers About Polishing the Silver Outlay
The narrator remembers the time when her mother was alive and the narrator was at home either bored or ill. Her mother asked her to polish the silver cudery. She was surprised to hear that the cudery that they were using was made of silver and even Mrs Dorling’s daughter was surprised to hear that they were using silver cudery for everyday eating.

The Narrator’s Final Resolution
The narrator decided that she could not stay there any more. The address was correct but the narrator didn’t want to remember it any more. She felt that the objects were linked to a memory of a time which no longer existed. They had lost their value in the strange surroundings.

She comforted herself by thinking that her present house was too small to accommodate all the old stuff. She left the house, leaving all her family’s belongings behind.

The Address Chapter Highlights

  • The narrator decides to visit the address that was given to her by her mother, where all her family’s precious possessions were kept safely by Mrs Dorling.
  • The first time when the narrator visited the address, Mrs Dorling behaved in the most absurd manner. She refused to recognise the narrator and did not let her enter the house. So the narrator returns empty-handed.
  • The narrator is reminded of her mother (Mrs S) who had given this address to her years ago, when inspite of war, they were living in Holland and she saw Mrs Dorling who was introduced to her as an old acquaintance of her mother.
  • The narrator noticed many precious items missing from their places. Then Mrs S told her that Mrs Dorling was helping her by taking her table cloth, silver cutlery, antique plates, large vases and crockery to her house to keep in safe custody, in case they had to leave the house suddenly.
  • The narrator decided to revisit the house of Mrs Dorling as she felt the urge to see all her mother’s belongings. She wanted to touch them, feel them and remember them.
  • On her second visit to 46, Marconi Street, she could get entry into the house as Mrs Dorling’s 15 year-old daughter opened the door. Her mother was not at home.
  • The girl led her to the living room where, to the narrator’s dismay, things belonging to her mother were arranged in a bad manner.
  • Mrs Dorling’s daughter innocently told the narrator that they were using all the antique plates, crockery and cutlery.
  • The narrator took an impulsive decision to leave everything behind as the precious objects owned by her mother had lost their value. Also, these objects associated with her mother were now in strange surroundings.
  • The narrator decided to forget her past as it brought back bitter memories. Her mother was no more there to revive the pleasant memories.
  • The narrator walked out of Mrs Dorling’s house, deciding that she would never come back to this house to see or take away her family’s possessions as she had no place to keep all of it.

The Address Word Meanings

Word – Meaning
poignant – arousing sadness
evoke – arouse
resolves – decides
chink – narrow opening
fleetingly – for a short time
cardigan – sweater with buttons
musty – stale
bay window – large window sticking out of the wall of a house
jamb – doorpost
struck – occurred to
apparently – evidently
acquaintance – known person
turned up – appeared
antique – a collectable object, old and often valuable
table silver – cutlery (knives, forks and spoons) made of silver
lugging – carrying
crick – strain
reprovingly – with disapproval
beckoned – called
stored stuff – belongings kept in a safe place
confronted – come face to face with
endured – survived
errand – work involving going out of the house
hanukkah – used in the Jewish festival of lights
cumbersome – unmanageable
oppressed – saddened
still life – painting of an arrangement of flowers and/or fruits
fancied – desired.
pewter – tin alloy
jingling – light metallic sound
severed – cut off
shreds – tiny pieces

What is the summary of the address?

It gives an account of the chaos which follows war. We see what it does to humans and their behaviour. You can feel the pain, grief and mental torture the survivors of war have to go through. It is about the author’s story, who is a Jew and returns to her native home post-war.

What is the main theme of the story the address?

The theme of The Address deals revolves around the personal challenges that all of us have to encounter as individuals while resolving crisis in our own lives. With war comes death, destruction and a dehumanising effect on human beings.

What is the address given in the story the address?

The words: number 46, Marconi Street, i.e. the address recur throughout the story. The address is important for the narrator at the beginning of the story. However, at the end of the story she resolves to forget it as she wants to break off with the past and move on with the present into the future.

What did Marga Minco remember and why?

She remembered that as a child she had always liked the apple on the pewter plate. The young girl told the narrator that at one time, they even ate in the plates hanging on the wall. The narrator, by then, found the bum mark on the tablecloth. The girl looked curiously at the narrator.

What did you learn from the story the address?

The Address by Marga Minco revolves around the theme of crisis that we as an individual encounter in our daily life. War brings destruction, pain, and loss of lives which impact humans in various ways. However, this story speaks about the narrator and mother’s life how they are disrupted due to war.

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