The Bear Came Over the Mountain

by

Alice Munro

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Bear Came Over the Mountain can help.

Aubrey Character Analysis

Aubrey is temporarily a resident at Meadowlake while his wife and primary caregiver, Marian, goes to Florida for the winter; he becomes Fiona’s beloved companion at the facility. Grant describes Aubrey as maybe his age or older, with white hair and a melancholy but dignified face. Aubrey does not have dementia, but has neurological issues as the result of an illness. He used to be the local representative of a company that sold pesticides to farmers, but he was fired and accused of owing the company money; after a holiday taken during this time, he contracted an illness that resulted in a high fever, a coma, and Aubrey’s present state, in which he cannot walk and struggles somewhat with talking. Aubrey has difficulty with handling cards but loves to play bridge, an activity that Fiona helps him with. Aubrey gets upset when Fiona spends time with Grant, and creates a distraction so that Fiona will return to his side. Aubrey does not have visitors, a fact later explained by his and Marian’s son living in British Columbia. He calls Fiona “my love,” while Fiona calls him “dear heart,” and cries when he is taken out of Meadowlake and back to his home with his wife. At home, he mainly watches the sports channel, as Marian does not want to upset him with too much change or activity.

Aubrey Quotes in The Bear Came Over the Mountain

The The Bear Came Over the Mountain quotes below are all either spoken by Aubrey or refer to Aubrey. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Random House edition of The Bear Came Over the Mountain published in 2014.
The Bear Came Over the Mountain Quotes

She was wearing a silly wool hat and a jacket with swirls of blue and purple, the sort of thing he had seen on local women at the supermarket.

The fact must be that they didn’t bother to sort out the wardrobes of the women who were roughly the same size. And counted on the women not to recognize their own clothes anyway.

They had cut her hair, too. They had cut away her angelic halo. On a Wednesday, when everything was more normal [...] and when Aubrey and Fiona were again in evidence, so that it was possible for Grant to have one of his brief and friendly and maddening conversations with his wife, he said to her, “Why did they chop off your hair?”

Fiona put her hands up to her head, to check.

“Why—I never missed it,” she said.

Related Characters: Grant (speaker), Fiona (speaker), Aubrey
Related Symbols: Fiona’s Hair
Page Number: 287-288
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Bear Came Over the Mountain LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Bear Came Over the Mountain PDF

Aubrey Character Timeline in The Bear Came Over the Mountain

The timeline below shows where the character Aubrey appears in The Bear Came Over the Mountain. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Bear Came Over the Mountain
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
Memory, Aging, and Identity Theme Icon
Gender and Power Theme Icon
...tea. Grant comments on the man Fiona was sitting with, and she introduces him as Aubrey, whom she knew when she was a teenager from a visit to the farm. Grant... (full context)
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
Memory, Aging, and Identity Theme Icon
 Fiona is distracted from her conversation with Grant by Aubrey, who clearly wants her to return to the table. Grant notices “a blush spotting her... (full context)
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
Memory, Aging, and Identity Theme Icon
...to visit, but Fiona simply treats him with polite distance. Grant learns from Kristy that Aubrey does not have dementia, but rather got sick on holiday and went into a coma,... (full context)
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
Memory, Aging, and Identity Theme Icon
Fiona and Aubrey spend most of their time together at the card table, though they also walk to... (full context)
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
...makes an effort to respect their relationship, reducing his visits to twice a week. Because Aubrey does not receive visitors, however, he and Fiona often disappear during this time, sometimes to... (full context)
Memory, Aging, and Identity Theme Icon
Class, Practicality, and Humor Theme Icon
One day, Grant sees Fiona wheeling Aubrey outside. He registers that she is wearing a “silly” wool hat and a jacket that... (full context)
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
Memory, Aging, and Identity Theme Icon
...Iceland, as she had developed a recent interest in the country. He finds her and Aubrey distracted and distressed, however, as Aubrey is leaving Meadowlake to go home, as Aubrey’s wife... (full context)
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
Memory, Aging, and Identity Theme Icon
...or moving her to a more intensive care section of Meadowlake, Grant decides to visit Aubrey’s wife and see if he can negotiate a visit. (full context)
Gender and Power Theme Icon
Class, Practicality, and Humor Theme Icon
...notices that some young families still live there, though some houses are more run down. Aubrey’s house, though, is well-kept. Aubrey’s wife, Marian, assumes that Grant is there with a grievance... (full context)
Class, Practicality, and Humor Theme Icon
...coffeemaker, seeking a point of connection, which Marian states was a gift from her and Aubrey’s son. She expresses dissatisfaction with her son’s lack of involvement with Aubrey’s care and the... (full context)
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
...topic to try and steer the conversation towards Fiona, asking if Marian wouldn’t mind bringing Aubrey back to Meadowlake to visit her. He also offers to provide transportation, if Marian doesn’t... (full context)
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
Memory, Aging, and Identity Theme Icon
Gender and Power Theme Icon
...poses this question, then says no, stating that she doesn’t want to upset or confuse Aubrey through this change in his routine, as well as the inconvenience for her. Grant repeats... (full context)
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
Memory, Aging, and Identity Theme Icon
Class, Practicality, and Humor Theme Icon
Grant asks if Marian ever considered putting Aubrey in Meadowlake full-time. When Marian says no, he assumes this is out of a sense... (full context)
Class, Practicality, and Humor Theme Icon
...acknowledges that Marian must have had some hopes of a better life when she married Aubrey, with his white-collar job, and wonders if she is disappointed with her life. He does... (full context)
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
Gender and Power Theme Icon
...He feels like “anything is possible,” even imagining that he could convince her to bring Aubrey to meet Fiona. (full context)
Love, Fidelity, and Marriage Theme Icon
Memory, Aging, and Identity Theme Icon
...she is not dressed in her own clothes. Grant tells her that he has brought Aubrey to visit her. Fiona does not remember Aubrey. Instead, she hugs Grant and thanks him... (full context)