Thursday, October 5th, 2017...11:44 pmwinslowo

Mrs. Ivors’s Agenda

Jump to Comments

Mrs. Ivors had been chatting with Lily the caretaker about how splendid the butter tarts were that evening.  She had taken a bite of one and placed it back onto the plate, the crumbs rolling to the edges.  The arpeggios coming from Mary Jane’s finger tips on the piano bounced around in the background.

Mrs. Ivors said, “That Gabriel Conroy’s something is he not? You do know he writes for The Daily Express, right?” Lily shook her head and raised her eyebrows.  “I ought to have a word with that fellow; I’m sure he thinks we are all just oblivious.”

Mr. Conroy stood and stared aimlessly beside Freddy Malins and those boys.  They all swigged back whiskey while he kept his hands in his pockets.  Mrs. Ivors scrunched up her freckled face and squinted in their direction.   As couples began to be arranged for Lancers she pushed pass Lily and nocked a few crumbs onto the floor.  She put her nose down and paced towards Mr. Conroy as he admired the ceiling chandeliers.  Four boys on her left nearly bumped her over as they burst through the doorway clapping and whooping upon the end of Mary Jane’s piece.  She thought she ought to synch up their ties for them and tell them to pipe down.  Mr. Conroy still stood alone though and she quickened her step.  He adjusted his waistcoat as crowds shuffled past him and then Mrs. Ivors’s eyes reached his gaze.  She smiled and gestured for him to join in the dance with her.  A devilish smile formed on her face as they took their places.  She thought about the article of his she had read the week prior and clutched his shoulder.

“I have a crow to pluck with you” she said abruptly.


  • I really like that you portray Mrs. Ivors calculating how she will confront Gabriel, and that you show through physical interactions (i.e. being knocked by the gentlemen and not caring, not minding that crumbs get knocked to the floor) that Mrs. Ivors is focused solely on exposing Gabriel’s affront to Irish identity. I also appreciate that you end this rewrite with Mrs. Ivors starting the conversation with Gabriel, because it emphasizes her thought process leading up to the conversation.

  • I love how you put such a personality to Mrs. Ivors whom we only of because of her interaction with Gabriel. This scene gives her a bit more agency and power over the situation since it is now her idea to dance with Gabriel and flesh out his guilty conscience. In this short entry she becomes a woman of power over a man who thinks he is the center of attention in this party and the pinnacle of good education. She puts him in his place as is soon to unfold.

  • I really like the way you’ve set up the relationship between Ivors and Lily, since it establishes a sense of camaraderie among them that unites them against Gabriel. Shifting the point of view to Miss Ivors’s perspective allows for so much more character development that I think you capture really well in the closing sentence in this scene.

  •   Professor Seiler
    October 11th, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Owen, like Janel, I find your imagination of the conspiratorial (?) relationship between Lily and Miss Ivors–even to the point where Lily doesn’t have to say anything–intriguing. It’s also just about Gabriel’s worst nightmare, at least in the first half of “The Dead.” Nice job.

Leave a Reply