In the text, Miss Mary Postgate is described as thoroughly conscientious, tidy, companionable, and ladylike, not young, and though her speech was as colourless as her eyes or her hair, she was never shocked.. By reading this description, I got the feeling that she is like what an educated woman should be, she should know how to behave. We know that she was not young and that her speech was as colourless as her eyes, this maybe mean that she has no personality, she is quite simple and plain as she listened to everyone but she did not have the will to answer with her own opinion. She seems to be someone who would be able to fit in every kind of situation. I think that while her outer self is quite ordinary, her inner self is a little bit different. Maybe she tries to express herself in a better way but she did not succeed because she always said to herself that one mustnt let ones mind dwell on these things which was what had made her what she was.
Moreover, there are some sections that describes the ambiguous relationship between Winny and Mary. When Mary was entrusted with the care of the young Winny, she stood to her share of the business of education as practised in private and public schools, then little by little she became his ambassadress and his interpretress to Miss Fowlerand his sewing-woman, strictly accountable for mislaid boots and garments; always his butt and his slave. On the other hand, Winny repaid her in his holidays by calling her Gatepost, Postey, or Packthread, by thumping her between her narrow shoulders, or by chasing her bleating, round the garden, her large mouth open, her large nose high in air, at a stiff-necked shamble very like a camels. Nevertheless, Mary cared for him and she studied a chart to understand his technical talk when he came back from the training centre. But, when she got something wrong, he insulted her by saying You must have had a brain at some time in your past. What have you done with it? Where dyou keep it? A sheep would know more than you do, Postey. Youre lamentable. You are less use than an empty tin can, you dowey old cassowary or by yelling Youre hopeless! You havent the mental capacity of a white mouse. But Marys heart and her interest were high in the air with Wynn, she always thinks and acts in relation to her idea of Winny. For example when Miss Fowler asked of what Mary ever thinks, Mary answered Oh, Wynn says he wants another three pairs of stockings ” as thick as we can make them, so actually her mind was always focused on Winny. This happens even when Miss Fowler said that Mary was with her for ten years and Mary replied that it were eleven years, and she based her calculation on the years spent by looking after Winny, in fact she stated: Lets see, said Mary. Wynn was eleven when he came. Hes twenty now, and I came two years before that. It must be eleven. In every kind of occasion Mary would have thought of Winny indeed she said How Wynn would have loved this or Wynn would be pleased to see how she was not afraid. Another proof of Marys love was when she knew about Winnys death and The room was whirling round Mary Postgate. However, even though Winny insulted her, I think he cared for her in fact he talked about Mary to his comrades and he stored the letters that Miss Fowler and Mary sent to him. I think that the relationship between Mary and Winny could be like a mother-son relationship. Mary cared and looked after Winny like a son and Winny tried to catch Marys attention by annoying her and in some occasions insulting her like a child. Maybe Winny did not know another way to approach Mary and while he seemed so moody or bad-tempered in front of her, he actually cared for her.
Also, I think that Marys public image is well-described in the following section:
She was, too, a treasure at domestic accounts, for which the village tradesmen, with their weekly books, loved her not. Otherwise she had no enemies; provoked no jealousy even among the plainest; neither gossip nor slander had ever been traced to her; she supplied the odd place at the Rectors or the Doctors table at half an hours notice; she was a sort of public aunt to very many small children of the village street, whose parents, while accepting everything, would have been swift to resent what they called patronage; she served on the Village Nursing Committee as Miss Fowlers nominee when Miss Fowler was crippled by rheumatoid arthritis, and came out of six months fortnightly meetings equally respected by all the cliques.
So, she was good at everything she did, she did not provoke anyone and did not cause any gossip. She is described as a public aunt always ready to take care of the children of the village and always available to others.
However, I think Mary can't see herself in a different way than she is, she can't imagine herself being someone else or doing some other job. She can not think of herself like a conversationalist, in fact, when Miss Fowler stated that she was the most talkative and she answered Im afraid Im not much of a conversationalist. As Wynn says, I havent the mind. Let me take your hat. Also, when she asked to be something else in the following lines Mary, arent you anything except a companion? Would you ever have been anything except a companion? and she answered No I dont imagine I ever should. But Ive no imagination, Im afraid
Even though Miss Fowler and Mary were away from trenches they were influenced by the consequences of the war. When Winny asked for something, Miss Fowler was willing to realize his desires because she thought that he would not have lived long because of the war. This can be seen in the following lines: Wynn demanded an increase in his allowance. Miss Fowler, who always looked facts in the face, said, He must have it. The chances are he wont live long to draw it, and if three hundred makes him happy ”. Also women were supposed to be very strong, cold-blooded and ready even for bad news. This happens when Miss Fowler and Mary received the letter about Winnys death, and Miss Fowler said I never expected anything elsebut Im sorry it happened before he had done anything. Moreover, one of her regrets is that Winny died too early, before he could have proved his own value. Also, by reading the text, I think that another womans duty is to dispose of everything after someones death and give something to other soldier as Miss Fowler said Ah, but keep his Service things. Someone may be glad of them later.