Hetty Dorval By Ethel Wilson

The ending in the novel Hetty Dorval written by Ethel Wilson the ending that is
created appears to have little narrative closure to the reader. However, there
is the idea that the ending could be symbolic and relate to other aspects of the
novel. Upon a first reading the ending is not entirely satisfying, yet once one
looks at the minute details that are present in the ending a sense of reflection
and realization of the truth in this novel takes place. The ending in Hetty

Dorval when first read is not entirely satisfying since there is little closure
created for the reader. The reader does not put down the book and think about
the brilliant or tragic ending of the characters, but rather, is left to think
about what happens in the lives of the characters. Since Hetty and Frankie are
present throughout the entire story, and they are constantly interacting with
the reader, one does wonder when the novel comes to a close about their fate.

All that is left for Wilsonís audience to understand about the two characters
is the idea that Hetty and Frankie go their separate ways, and a war begins in

Vienna. When such an intimate view into the life of two characters is created,
this idea of the two just going their separate ways is not satisfying. There is
still the urge to want to know about what happens to them in their separation,
and in their new lives. Although Wilsonís intent was obviously to end the
story in this manner, and by her adding on to the novel would dramatically
increase the length of this short book, something more is still needed in order
for the reader to have complete closure with the two main characters. Although
the ending does not allow closure for the reader, it is possible for the reader
to interpret the novel with some of the ideas that are present in the ending.

Throughout the novel the close ties of Hetty and Frankie are present, even when

Frankie does not want Hetty in her life, she is there. A perfect example of this
is when Frankie has traveled to Vancouver and she is in a jewelry shop looking
at some necklaces. She looks up and across the counter is Hetty examining an
expensive pearl necklace. "As we leaned across the counter, I looked up, and
there, across the large jewelry store was Hetty....I looked away from her in
something like panic. I did not want, now, to be enthralled by or involved with

Hetty again."(Wilson, pg. 52) This idea of the constant reunions between the
two women could be considered symbolically to show how the two women do need
each other as friends, and how they are more similar than either one knows. Even
in the ending when Frankie makes it clear that she does not want Hetty in her
life any longer, Hetty still shows up at Frankieís apartment looking for a
place to stay. There is a connection between the two, although both characters
do not seem to want to admit it, and by Hetty running to Frankie it can be seen
symbolically that Hetty has now become the child in the relationship. At the end
of the novel when the two do separate on a more permanent basis, it can be
concluded that the two are apart for good and can no longer relate to each other
or be apart of the otherís life. By analyzing word use in the final chapter of

Hetty Dorval one can also interpret different meanings of how the ending could
be considered significant. By examining the final sentence in the novel some
words present there create a new meaning to the reader. "There arose a silence
around the city, through which only faint, confused sounds were sometimes
heard."(Wilson, pg. 104) The use of the word confusion in the end of the book
could easily relate to the beginning of the novel, bringing the readers thoughts
back to when they first began to read this lovely tale. Confusion could remind
one of the literal confusion that took place within the town of Lytton when

Hetty arrived. There was the confusion between the townís people since they
could not find a past for this women of "no reputation", they did not know
where she came from and were confused by her independence and wealth. Frankie
herself was also met with confusion when it came to Hetty. It was quite clear
that she could not understand why her