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The Geranium and My Leanne

            Obsession is the most destructive human emotion; it may well be a driving force of one of the biggest issue of the world- that being domestic abuse. Abusive mindset may have a detrimental consequence on both the victims of abuse, and the abusers themselves. Abusive behaviors can lead to people deteriorating mentally, and emotionally. Abusive behaviours can also lead someone into thinking less of themselves. By looking at specific instances of domestic abuse, Patricia Grace has taught the 20th century reader what a possible root of this type of abuse is and what the effects it may have on both the abusers and the abused. Grace displays her condemnation to abuse through her short stories. This is exemplified in her short stories The Geranium and My Leanne. In the stories Grace employs narrative viewpoint, dialogue, symbolism and narrative structure.
             Grace explores two similar instances of domestic abuse in the two short stories. Grace uses the characters Marney (The Geranium) and Dean (My Leanne) to show the readers obsession begets abusive behaviour and the toll it has on people's physical and emotional well-being. Through these characters, Grace also shows her condemnation to domestic abuse in the New Zealand society in the late 20th century. Dean, a seemingly 'normal' teenaged boy, had undergone an intensification of an existing psychological issue which is catalysed by obsession. His portrayal through the first person narrative has allowed the reader to see what may be the underlying problem of abusers: selfishness. The first narrative point of view has provided grounds for Grace to use the possessive pronoun "my" repeatedly whenever Dean refers to his girlfriend Leanne. At first, this is easily dismissed by the reader as a form of endearment, but as the short story proceeds, the reader slowly uncovers that Dean is mentally, and perhaps emotionally, unsound. It was made clear later on that he sees Leanne as an object of his possession that no one must take away from him.

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