Character Sketch of Mrs Clifford in Price of Flowers

In Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyay’s poignant short story “The Price of Flowers,” Mrs. Clifford emerges as a portrait of quiet resilience and profound maternal love, etched against the backdrop of poverty and loss. Though facing dire circumstances, she navigates life with grace and dignity, her unwavering love for her son Frank becoming the compass that guides her through every storm.

Unflinching in Adversity:

  • Stoic Strength: Despite living in meager conditions, Mrs. Clifford never allows hardship to break her spirit. She faces each day with stoic determination, working tirelessly as a cake seller to make ends meet and provide for her daughter Maggie. Her resilience shines through every challenge, a testament to her unwavering resolve.
  • Dignity in Simplicity: Poverty may mark her life, but it never strips Mrs. Clifford of her inherent dignity. She maintains a sense of propriety and self-respect, refusing to resort to begging or compromising her values. Her unwavering integrity resonates in every choice she makes.
  • Hope Under Fire: Even when hope seems a distant flame, Mrs. Clifford clings to it with fierce tenacity. The news of Frank’s potential death in the Second World War leaves her deeply wounded, but she refuses to succumb to despair. She clings to the possibility of his return, her unwavering faith a beacon in the darkness.
  • Love as Armor: Her love for Frank becomes her armor against the harsh realities of life. His absence is a constant ache, yet it fuels her determination to keep going. Every sacrifice she makes, every hardship she endures, is for him, a silent testament to the boundless depths of her maternal devotion.
  • Compassionate Soul: While her own grief runs deep, Mrs. Clifford doesn’t let it blind her to the suffering of others. She readily offers support to Mr. Gupta, sharing the meager rice she can spare and extending a hand of understanding when he grapples with his own loss. Her empathy, amidst her personal struggles, reveals the true depth of her humanity.

The Heart Beyond the Scars:

Mrs. Clifford’s character transcends the constraints of poverty and circumstance. She is a testament to the unwavering spirit of motherhood, a woman who finds strength in love and dignity in simplicity. Her quiet presence resonates with profound emotions, offering a glimpse into the resilience of the human spirit even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Through her journey, Mukhopadhyay subtly evokes the complexities of war and its lingering impact on families. Mrs. Clifford embodies the silent sacrifices of countless mothers, their hearts forever bearing the scars of loved ones lost and lives forever altered.

Beyond the final page, Mrs. Clifford’s image lingers, a reminder that love can bloom even in the harshest of soils, and that compassion is the truest wealth we can possess. Her story serves as a quiet hymn to the indomitable spirit of motherhood, a testament to the unwavering hope that burns brightest in the darkest of nights.

This sketch touches on some key aspects of Mrs. Clifford’s character. Feel free to adjust the focus, add specific details from the story, or expand on certain points to further personalize the character portrayal according to your needs.

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