Away From Her

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This evaluative essay, without any form of biases, focuses on literary works written and recorded by two different personalities at varying time intervals to accomplish artistic themes and skills relating to daily struggles couples persevere in their relationships or marital life. Although the essay focuses a lot more on Alice Munro’s such a penetrating and lyrical prose short story, founded on long-lasting marriage and memories thereof, but, it uses Sarah Polley’s movie: Away From Her, to assess and evaluate the extent to which love, time, and age may influence loyalty in marriage. Therefore, thesis statement of this paper depicts love and loyalty as two independent variables in couple’s marital life. Despite having started their happy relationship while still young, energetic and full of future in the University, the couple eventually grew old and face-wrinkled. It however more than meets the eye that these coupe still show a lot of love, patience and restrain even at their very much advanced ages when one of the partners has began to develop memory loss. By acting Away from Her, Sarah Polley has for sure attempted to justify the very title of the short story ‘The Bear Came Over the Mountain”, though using a lot of figurative language (Bobi, S & Polley, S.  2017).

The Criterion of love and loyalty in long relationships

Loyalty among couples is a key ingredient in any relationship, deemed successful and full of love. In Alice Munro’s short story, this very important ingredient seems to be misguided. And if it is present, then it is not equitably and sufficiently practiced by the both partners. Actually, it does not matter whether the couple has stood the test of time in relationships; being loyal to each other starts way back before two aspiring partners even begin to living together. It through loyalty that open communication and getting to each other’s physical, emotional and psychological feelings will be realized. Whereas it can be judged that Fiona and Grant have really enjoyed every bit of their long marital life, but this cannot explicitly determine, and just whether or not they are loyal to each other. For sure, this evaluative essay tries to justify that observation by expounding on the kind of marital life lived by Grant and Fiona Anderson for over forty years. In the essay, it is realized that whereas one partner takes the center stage in the movie as being the main victim of emotional distress over an eventuality, which the other partner does not have much control over— Alzheimer’s Disease, but it is perhaps due to the latter’s previous spate of unfaithfulness behaviors leading to this situation. In essence, one may comfortably argue that according to Fiona; it is payback time.  Unbeknown to Grant Anderson, for over forty years, Fiona was for sure enduring a lot of heart breaks and emotional distress partly caused by the wrong deeds of a cheating husband.

On the other hand, Sarah Polley’s movie portrays Fiona’s diagnosis with a memory lapse a well orchestrated scheme to find out Grant‘s immediate reaction with regard to their marriage. Although one can argue that Grant is, in this aspect, very loyal and caring to Fiona, but this is for sure, far from the truth because there is the other side of the mountain. And, in this regard,  Sarah Pulley’s film ‘Away from Her’ lived up to Alice Munro’s short story  whose title was prudently picked by perhaps figuratively using the Bear to represent unwarranted behavior, say in a marital set up, where partners go out their ways to find other matches even in their old days. It may not really matter who the Bear is, at least in this aspect but obviously each and every individual needs to do a soul searching in a bid to mend their own mistakes. According to Munro, the “sexual subversion emanating from married women whose thirst for a change of environment away from their husbands had completely taken a toll” on the wellbeing of Grant’s marriage (2011). In real life situation, it is something which haunts and destroys many marriages after married couples get to institutions of higher learning to pursue their career dreams. It turns to a bitter pill to swallow because some partners cannot simply compromise on unfaithfulness in marital set up. Like Grant, who can be said to have genuinely loved and treasured Fiona, lustrous lifestyle had taken the better part of their marital relationship even in sickness. In the end, the level of both Fiona’s and Grant’s pretentiousness are depicted even in the hospital. Grant reportedly comes to visit Fiona in the hospital, presumably after thirty has elapsed only to find out that there is a new man in the picture—Aubrey, and that Fiona can no longer recognize the real husband. This is something that sounds weird and should not be tolerated in marriage. However, it also turns out that Grant had earlier on orchestrated all these by advocating to meet Aubrey’s wife, Mariana, supposedly to have an illicit affair. The film eventually portrays Grant’s predicament with Aubrey and Mariana with a lot of regrets as both return to their respective partners.


In conclusion, it can be said that basing on Grant and Fiona’s long marital life together, love, loyalty  and of course patience stand out in Sarah Polley’s movie  Away from Her. The film therefore lived up to the expectations of Alice Munro’s The Bear Came Over the Mountain short story. This is indeed reassuring that, Grant mastered the art of dealing with marital misdemeanors, which, a lot of couples out there find very difficult to handle. And true to respond to the threat of a dying marriage poised by Fiona losing memory, Grant, out of what can be likened to love, swiftly decides to drive the patient to Meadowlake nursing home. This journey is fact not new to them because, if anything, the couple used to enjoy skiing in this part of the world during their happy days when they were still youthful in marriage. In the film, Sarah Polley portrays the couple as still intimate despite a few marital issues occasioned by cheating and memory lapse.


Bobi, S. & Polley, S. (2017, April 6). Away from Her: YouTube.  Retrieved from

Munro, A. (2011).The bear came over the mountain: Storycuts. Broadway, Manhattan: Random House.

September 25, 2023

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