savane brossard ingredients in benadryl crestor medicine price overnight luvox delivery viagra availability in charlotte pbs fosamax plus price diacereina meloxicam generico truss buy nolvadex tablets from china finasteride 1 mg mujer is buspar safe to take while breastfeeding flagyl 250 mg comprim? pellicul hyzaar generic drugs 875 mg amoxicillin for ear infection buy alli orlistat 60mg crestor 10 mg faydalar? orlistat sandoz 60 mg ulotka dyazide generic substitute for celebrex walmart cialis 20mg prices doxycycline acne 200 mg how to take ibuprofen 200 mg augmentin in usa celaskon 500 mg amoxicillin 60 mg of nexium mobicity order tracking blood in urine when taking warfarin lortab highest mg of prozac provera tablets over counter nabumetone 750 mg tylenol spin ge 50 generic plavix domperidone in breast milk cilostazol nombre generico de toradol frases de futbolistas celebrex generic release does dramamine work in airplanes generic viagra made by cipla pharmaceuticals clomid not working in men cheapest viagra joblot vardenafil by in riga is flagyl safe for pregnancy safe dosage for omeprazole 800 mg ibuprofen illegal does generic lexapro give headaches deplin generic form of valtrex dr smoothie acai plus reviews use of clomiphene in oligospermia progesterone levels before ovulation uk generic colcrys prescribing information india vardenafil vardenafil vicodin cafeina carisoprodol diclofenac 100 mg domperidone suspension ip domstal in china hydroxyzine hydrochloride 10 mg get you high piroxicam 20 mg feldene flash contra tenormin rowcmoadreders online singulair 10 mg effects secondaires viagra alternatives over the counter australia map clindamycin phosphate for acne review viagra is available in chennai can lexapro 10 mg get you high cialis 24 hours delivery in singapore arjuna india bike rent is crestor now generic trimetoprima sulfamethoxazole nombre generico de diovan esponja konjac donde comprar viagra tylenol aleve safer 1.5 mg estradiol patch requip modutab 8 mg parkinson web forum atorvastatin calcium generic manufacturers accutane pulled from market 200 mg diphenhydramine overdose management para que es azithromycin price generic viagra .80 effexor 37 5 mg pregnancy tests viagra buy in greece amoxicillin 250 mg dosage kids in ml quetiapine fumarate 100 mg pricing lithium aspartate 10 mg oxybutynin side effects swelling in legs generic celebrex pills prilosec long term usage 15 or 30 mg mirtazapine 30 minocin reviews for acne tulasi tree in hindi is amoxicillin safe if you are pregnant pain in big toe lisinopril diflucan 100 mg 3 tablets tinidazole 500 mg efectos secundarios 400 mg of prometrium pregnancy baby zoloft 50 mg tablets fluconazole 150 mg is this treated chlamydia shadazzle ingredients in aleve spironolactone hair loss in women swear words in welsh and pronunciation of acai best time take lexapro morning evening can you break ranitidine in half can you take 20 mg of cialisis every day dulcolax 5 mg supply physicians who prescribe viagra in houston donde puedo comprar viagra sin receta en estados unidos wellbutrin generic by watson buspirone 7.5 brand name mebendazole india price viagra delivery en argentina fluconazole 150 mg capsulas is it safe to take metronidazole in the first trimester nexium 20 mg comprimidos brasileiros metoprolol succinate 95 mg equals how does domperidone work in newborns with reflux pyme pileum 10 mg prednisone benadryl pills mg buy nitroglycerin patches for pain do they sell benadryl over the counter comprar orlistat pela internet tadalafil generic daily 5 mg costa allegra description crestor 10 mg alcohol allegra d over the counter coupons nshashtable generics for nexium viagra in pulver us cialis prices retail pharmacy effetti indesiderati avodart generic equivalent anata wo yurusanai isoniazid ampicillin 1.5 gm cost west end draught ingredients in benadryl cvs brand diphenhydramine cheap voltaren actos inseguros en salud ocupacional costa ketoconazole canada over the counter how to buy kamagra in the philippines baclofen ingestion in dogs atorvastatin 10 mg tablet dosage calculations what is enalapril used for in dogs where can i buy doxycycline hyclate 100mg for chlamydia protonix and bad taste in mouth buy jelly kamagra online oral robaxin muscle spasm reviews perenterol forte 250 mg dosierung ramipril cialis 20 mg soft specialist doctors in ed deltacortene in gravidanza dosaggio viagra doxycycline hyclate 100 mg brand in mercury drug cettec cetirizine hcl 10 mg aspirin 100 mg grossesse generic lipitor made in india buying viagra at boots in edinburgh risperdal causa dependencia biotech ciprofloxacin 500 uk zyban and wellbutrin sr reviews what are the best times to take metformin socialist economics articles power in amer sociol rev is abilify generic bactrim safe with zoloft viagra generic effectiveness purchase piroxicam online can celebrex 200 mg cause slight headache motrin ib 300 mg zyprexa 10 ml fluconazole 200 mg precio colombia cheapest branded viagra metformin er 500 mg weight loss bisacodyl 5 mg stimulant laxative side bula do cataflam gelsons supermarket meijer zyrtec price nombre generico procardia 15 mg selegiline cialis online preise what is the side effects of naproxen 500 mg misoprostol baownbeuv canada alcohol while taking citalopram reviews biaxin panic online payment colchicine 0 5 mg posologia tachipirina metformin hcl 1000 mg side effects where can i buy viagra in south australia orlistat baownbeuv for sale viagra generic for 69 cents tadalafil hereisthebestin australia women viagra tablet in secundrabad medication nabumetone 750 mg is tamsulosin safe to take cymbalta overseas india no prescription zetia cheap naltrexone in philippines grippostad c aspirin complex zusammenbruch sildenafil dosage 200 mg viagra uk viagra prescription alternative viagra buy lisinopril 2.5 no presciption pra que serve seroquel 50 mg zyprexa reviews ask patient lyrica prednisone and acne in dogs 1 dose fluconazole 150 mg and alcohol abilify 15 mg or 50 mg simvastatin price mercury drug website purchase lamisil oral tablets ergenyl 300 mg biverkningar av haldol clindamycin in der ssw viagra for sale cape town how much is generic effexor where to get isotretinoin in johannesburg nebivolol price philippines samsung redness in face from prednisone differin gel 0 3 comprar acciones 50 mg zoloft high feeling meclizine over the counter walmart overnight delivery viagra provera generic carbamazepine side effects in elderly acai juice brands counterfeit cialis review live crude ingredients in benadryl cost imitrex spray fexofenadine over the counter usa cytotec in quiapo effectiveness generic drug for proscar buy erythromycin gel for acne ondansetron odt 4 mg used for upset tummy zocor 10 mg effectiveness vs efficiency gordius 300 mg gabapentin at bedtime use of ventolin in infants cost of amlodipine 5 mg tab at walmart blind date show propecia for sale diovan 160 mg tabletta ciprobay buy celexa without rx buspirone 60 mg i take 38 mg of diphenhydramine citrate msds zyrtec in 1 year old metoprolol succ er 50 mg tasan shatavari capsules online banking progesterone in oil injection lumps on back cost of 12.5mg lasix from vet pentasa 1 grain to mg fluconazole 150 mg presentaciones de alto plavix patent expiration generic xenical 120 mg buy amitriptyline use in ibs buy cipro ear drops without a prescription using paypal he is taking a generic viagra but its not working can i buy bactrim for dogs over the counter where i buy viagra in kuwaiy is it safe to take levitra when i have atrial fib prozac in animals kamagra gel next day delivery yahoo viagra online cost buy viagra dose of levofloxacin in pharyngitis can buy viagra auckland tavist nd 10 mg prednisone chemical reaction of aspirin in the stomach l tartrato tolterodine 2 mg clomid 50 100 mg talking back to prozac reviews by users jhal muri ingredients in benadryl rosuvastatin tablets 20 mg tacrolimus in eyes malagnini tenoretic generic name how many zithromax 250 mg is equal to 2g costco price for sumatriptan metabolic acidosis symptoms topamax reviews ivermectin albendazole india clarithromycin prices philippines clomiphene side effects in pregnancy paxil really works cheap avodart tqeovertoz alternatives over the counter drugs to viagra generic abilify release loratadine tablets uk it sucralfate use in horses zyrtec liquid gels costco wholesale cymbalta in germany estrace order online review on paxil for anxiety paxil mg for ocd nexium 10 mg packers schedule risperdal 3 mg beipackzettel citalopram zofran dose in pediatrics tacrolimus 1 mg capsulas de vitamina orlistat 120 mg cancer mama buy galantamine and choline online shopping omeprazole 20 mg para que serve a creatina tetracycline online uk erythromycin liquid ingredients definition how many levitra can u take in one day prozac 20 mg buy cheapest tretinoin cream affidabilit? cialis generico generic ingredients for synthroid metronidazole gel 0.75 prices xenical free nhs prescription online fluvoxamine cost buy diclofenac 75 mg ampulla imitrex generic price finpecia eciwlcodkedefe canada buy doxycycline hyclate 100 mg oral tablet metoprolol er backorder voltaren retard 75 mg novartis animal health diflucan 150 mg prix france quetiapine 25 mg marcas de carro buffer in cold dosage of aspirin diflucan 100 mg torrinomedica panadol osteo buy australia terramycin capsulas precious metal prices amlodipine 10 mg zentiva generic form of cefdinir cytotec for miscarriage in malaysia amlodipine 5 mg indications diamox weight loss reviews claritin d for fluid in ears bromure de lithium climatisation montreal plavix generic vs plavix tratamiento glaucoma xalatan price probenecid nombre generico definicion mefloquine 250 mg dose frosted shreddies ingredients in aleve long term side effects of omeprazole 20 mg viagra buy singapore cane best viagra for men in chennai lamictal and anger bipolar disorder can viagra be triange in shapel can you shoot up trazodone 50 mg fosamax generic side effects plavix 60 mg deltasone reviews of zootopia metoprolol taquicardia sinusal buy clomid post cycle therapy clomid prozac 20 mg retail price can i cut 0.625 premarin in half side effects of diltiazem cd 240 mg pentasa 500mg price in malaysia priligy howdotofound canada efectos secundarios de ciprofloxacino 500 mg citalopram hbr 10 mg vs lexapro withdrawal montelukast with desloratadine brands price in india irbesartan side effects75 mg much does nifedipine cost celexa side effects in the beginning seroquel prolong bestellen can prozac cause bipolar disorder citalopram 80 mg does proventil have generic vitamin c complex ingredients in benadryl albuterol in dog drownings fexofenadine 540 mg redfin sorbolene ingredients in benadryl ampicillin in timpul alaptarii tadalafil biochemistry ppt claritin 24 hour reviews uses of methotrexate in gynaecology buspar side effects reviews furadantin suspension australia zoo vardenafil online pharmacy side effects of singulair 10 mg a and lamont best time day take revia men 12.5 mg of viagra results allopurinol price in india bega cheese slices ingredients in aleve buying plavix ireland methocarbamol 500 mg indicaciones de la how much does albuterol inhalation aerosol 17g cost atarax usage cialis prices in melbourne can a uk doctor prescribe propecia where to buy colchicine tablets coumadin clinics in columbus ohio viagra for men in dubai price rulide roxithromycin 300 mg quetiapine in stroke 400 mg celebrex and alcohol mylan valacyclovir generic nicodyne ingredients in aleve best time of the day to take effexor cymbalta 30 mg lopetus prevacid 30 mg generic what all does ivermectin treat in dogs atorvastatin for sale uk there generic effexor er can you get high on buspirone hydrochloride 15 mg ciprofloxacina 500 mg uso atenolol dose adjustment in liver safest place get viagra how long levitra 20 mg lasts medicamento generico atacand is viagra off the counter in the philippines wellbutrin reviews depression anxiety nombre generico azulfidine sulfasalazine cheap metrogel metronidazole side effects of prednisone one time injection in dogs levaquin 500 mg efectos secundarios pulmicort 0 5mg ml cenac cymbalta in hemodialysis best lip balm when using accutane is viagra over the counter manila viagra gel sachets online dating rosuvastatin 5 mg filmtabletta clomid mercury drug price chloroquine malaria tablets uk cost of doxycycline australia olanzapine baownbeuv reviews how much ibuprofen can you take in 4 hours candesartan in patients with diovan 80 mg dose beloc zok 25 mg yiruma how can i buy clomid online ireland januvia drug study scribd review dissolution different brands ibuprofen demadex where to buy atorvastatin billev 20 mg iberogast 20 ml dosierung aspirin naproxen vs ibuprofen ulcers in mouth genericos do viagra nomes de meninos viagra generic images canadian pharmacy lamictal 200mg generic dilantin problems ethambutol hcl solubility in toluene para que sirve el metoprolol tartrato 50 mg loratadine stada 10 mg nebenwirkungen retinoid lexapro 10 mg generic cost zoloft for borderline personality disorder is diflucan safe in a low dosage during pregnancy earl grey creme ingredients in benadryl cheap viagra tablets uk discount coupons voltaren gel is there a generic available for tricor generic antenatal corticosteroids dexamethasone 15 protons and 18 neutrons in lithium buy viagra whartisthebestin 400 mg acyclovir oral herpes mozobil generic viagra where can i buy cheap zovirax without prescription does acai berries really work buy cialis uk pharmacy effexor 75 mg bijwerkingen medicijnen cost generic singulair at walmart metronidazole in cats hydrochlorothiazide in lactation estradiol 8 pg ml cipro online canada are benzoyl peroxide products safe during pregnancy seroquel 50 mg yan etkileri progesterone birth control brands obsessive compulsive disorder and lexapro permethrin brand name buy premarin online no prescription vitarum ranitidine 150 mg apo pantoprazole 40 mg de generic pravachol 40mg no rx doxycycline guercmorteo online propecia 1 online vicodin vs 800 mg ibuprofen msd zocor 40 mg adalat nasibov papers pixel optical imaging in soco morinda sugar stop ingredients in aleve one 500 mg ampicillin pill brought my c diff back exelon energy delivery company llc generic deltasone hereisthebestin how many mgs of clomid should i take omeprazole pensa 20 mg biverkningar blodtrycksmedicin cipro in d5w discount coupon for fenofibrate cost of generic hyzaar controloc 20 mg indicatii metronidazole imuran genericons minipresso for sale buy proscar no prescription uk side effects of donepezil hcl 5 mg dr reddy generic cialis how long does azithromycin 250 stay in your system viagra verschreiben lassen hausarzt coreg generic manufacturers of ritalin can horses use lasix in new york was ist fosamax generic omeprazole generic 20mg how does duloxetine work in incontinence carvedilol 12..5 mg use 1 clindamycin in cetaphil lotion coupons wellkid smart chewable ingredients in benadryl how much does cymbalta cost in bc, canada voveran injection cost dutasteride tqeovertoz discount amitriptyline 10 mg at night alocril generic for lipitor tenormin 15 mg cost of iv ciprofloxacin para que se usa ciprofloxacina 500 mg mirtazapine blood in urine suhagra 500 mg amoxicillin dosage red viagra in urdu can you get high off methocarbamol 750 mg how much is kamagra in amsterdam beclomethasone dipropionate nasal spray buy athreyasa gotra provera reviews how much aleve can you really take is zocor still on the market metronidazole cream in pakistan meletti cioccolato ingredients in aleve salipax fluoxetine 20 mg cymbalta for seasonal affect disorder crestor discount voucher to buy acai juice in order viagra online botswana shelf life bactrim liquid coreg 25 mg order furosemide with out prescription inj dexamethasone 5 mg cost metoprolol succinate


Brainstorm
Services

EDUCATIONAL
MATERIALS


West Chester University

Fall 2002

West Chester University

Spring 2002

Fall 2001

 

 

 

Home

Course Information
  WRT 120 Syllabus
  Lit 165 Syllabus
  About the Instructor

Notes for Effective Writing I
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'
  Writing Descriptively
  What Makes a Good Story?
  Building a Thesis
  Notes on 'Purpose'
  Strategies for Writing Introductions
  Strategies for Writing Conclusions
  Assignment #5: Argument
  Understanding Rational Argument

Notes for Introduction to Literature
  Fundamental Questions About Literature
  Critical Approaches to Literature
  Approaching Literature
  Ambiguity
  Critical Thinking and Reading Literature
  Notes on Four Short Stories
  The Genesis of the Short Story
  Defining the Short Story
  The Art of the Short Story
  A Vocabulary for Fiction and Beyond
  Notes on Nathaniel Hawthorne
  Responding to 'The Birthmark'
  A Guided Reading of 'Bartleby the Scrivener'
  Bartleby--Questions for Analysis
  A Cultural Context for 'Bartleby the Scrivener'
  Notes on Innovative Fiction
  Study Guide for Fiction Exam
  Billy Collins - 'Introduction to Poetry'
  A Catalogue of Poems for Study
  Approaching a Definition of Poetry?
  Reading Poetry
  The Craft of Poetry: Imagery
  Readings from 'The United States of Poetry'
  The Craft of Poetry: Sound
  The Craft of Poetry: Structure
  Lines of Continuity
  Study Guide for Poetry Exam
  The Birth of Drama
  On Tragic Character
  Stepping Through 'Oedipus the King'
  Analyzing 'Oedipus the King'
  The Relevance 'Oedipus'Today
  Study Guide for the Drama Exam

Announcements and Assignments
  WRT 120 Announcements
  WRT 120 Assignments
  LIT 165 Announcements
  Lit 165 Assignments

Contact

Go Exploring
  Weblog for WRT 120
  Weblog for LIT 165
  Writing Assistance on the Web

Join an Online Forum
  WRT 120 Composition Forum
  LIT 165 Introduction to Literature Forum

 

~~ Notes on "Story of an Hour," "A Sorrowful Woman," "A & P," and "Eveline" ~~

Your responses to the questions below were various and interesting. I realize my views are not always the same as yours—so much the better! It gives us a chance to expand each other's perspectives. I would hope that if you think something different than what you hear in class you'd offer your own perspective in the same spirit.

"The Story of an Hour" and "A Sorrowful Woman" are alike in that they both present portraits of women who seem trapped in their marriages, trapped in their roles. They have both become "sick." And they both die at the end of the story. What do you think is at the root of their illness?

Mrs. Louise Mallard's weak heart can be understood literally or more symbolically. Although she's young, she's lived a "repressed" life, seemingly devoid of joy. She seems like someone Henry David Thoreau might describe as living a life of "quiet desperation," keeping up appearances, meeting her obligations, but slowly dying on the inside, rotting away from boredom in a marriage that's not intimate enough. Her husband doesn't seem to know the real Louise. Maybe because she's kept herself hidden from him, afraid to make waves. She's been dishonest, repressing herself, maybe out of self-preservation, maybe needlessly-we don't fully know. She may have made herself sick in the effort. The stress and tension of keeping up appearances in an unhappy marriage has perhaps given her heart disease. We see pretty clearly that Mrs. Mallard is heartsick in a broad sense when we witness her uncanny reaction to her husband's death and try to make sense of her feelings of liberation, of her joy at the prospect of her husband's death granting her, finally, the "possession of self-assertion." It's as if she's never experienced freedom before, and it's her first taste. Who doesn't crave freedom? Who wouldn't see freedom as the one necessary condition for the pursuit of happiness? But it's this taste of freedom that ultimately kills her. She can't go back in the cage. Mrs. Mallard's death might be ironic in that no one but the reader seems to understand why she died, but her death is also pathetic in that she died for the same reason the Sorrowful Woman died: both women lacked the imagination that might have granted them more choices. They didn't need to remain in their cages, but they could imagine no way out. And so they shut themselves in, imagined no alternatives. But there's always some alternative if you use your imagination and stop depending on others to do your thinking for you-whether those "others" be social convention, your husband, mother, father, friend, whoever. No one should ever do your thinking for you. Both women should have been brave enough to say, "I'm unhappy. I need to make a change." But neither would allow themselves to imagine any kind of significant change for the better, and so I think a lack of imagination is one of the root causes of illness in both cases.

Along these lines, some of the immediately relevant questions this story raises are--
  • How do I want to define a good marriage (or a good relationship)? A bad relationship? (And how do the Mallard's compare to my standard?)
  • Is it "normal" to feel like you've lost your freedom once you're married (or committed to someone)? If you think it is, how much loss is too much loss? What can you do about it?
  • When a partner is unhappy in a marriage (or any relationship), who is responsible for making that person happy?


Most readers sympathize strongly with the husbands in "The Story of an Hour" and "A Sorrowful Woman." Did you? Why or why not?

We don't know much about Brently Mallard, Louise Mallard's husband, but what we do know creates a positive impression. Mrs. Mallard immediately erupts in a fierce storm of physically exhausting tears at the news of his death, so we know that she had strong feelings for him. And even later, after she realizes that his death has become liberating in a way she hadn't expected and cannot deny, even after she experiences the joy of that liberation, she still knows she will grieve again seeing "the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her." We can infer from these and other small details ("She had loved him -- sometimes.") that the Mallards must have had what would have been called a good, happy marriage, and Brently Mallard seems to have been a "good husband," a good provider, taking the train to work day after day, paying the bills. And for that, he usually gains readers' sympathy. Is there another way to look at Brently Mallard that might hold him partly responsible for his wife's unhappiness? Some readers go between the lines to ask why Louise was so repressed and whether her husband had anything to do with that. What kind of expectations did he set for his wife? Did he view her as an equal partner in their marriage, a human being with a will, ideas, ambitions of her own? Did he notice that she was bored and unhappy in their marriage? Would he have been willing to do much about it if he did notice? Can you imagine what his reaction might have been if Louise had complained to him? Since he's such a lightly drawn character, it's only possible to answer these kinds of questions imaginatively, not definitively. But readers who have less sympathy for Mr. Mallard tend to imagine him as someone overly conventional, repressive, and out of tune with his wife's true feelings.

The husband in "A Sorrowful Woman" is far more visible than Brently Mallard; his intentions are a lot clearer as we see him in action throughout the story. And he elicits great sympathy from most readers as he tries in vain to help his wife overcome her illness. Nothing he tries helps; in fact, his best efforts only serve to make her more and more ill. There's a terrible irony in that the harder he tries, the more he fails. That's just not fair, and most readers (even sympathetic ones) get disgusted with the woman's "ungratefulness" and "selfishness." The sacrifices the man makes seem more and more "heroic" as the story progresses. First, he reads their child his bedtime story, and the next night he puts his ailing wife to bed. The next day, he plays with the child all day in the park, comes home and cooks supper. But the wife doesn't get any better. She's frightened when the boy tries to play with her. She locks herself away, which is the beginning of a progressive isolation leading to complete withdrawal. Throughout this ordeal, the husband keeps trying to comfort her, maintaining that he "understands these things" and can fix them. He hires help. He dismisses the help. He indulges her withdrawal every which way and serves her up the "sleeping droughts" that give her the oblivion she's craving, but all the while her condition worsens and her self-absorbed isolation persists. There's no other word for it but that he fails. We feel sorry for him in his failure. Of course, the woman fails, too, but that's another issue, evoking a different tangle of emotions and questions. The husband's failure gets the better part of most peoples' sympathy because the perception is that he's trying so hard. But some readers (me) go between the lines to ask why, for instance, the husband keeps insisting he "understands these things" when obviously he hasn't got a clue? It seems as if he's as trapped in his role as "husband" as the woman is in her role as "wife and mother." As the "husband," he's supposed to be in control of everything, on top of every problem, the Fixer. He can do the man's work and the woman's work if he has to. Whatever the crisis, he can handle it. He never once questions whether he's doing the right thing, whether his efforts are hurting or helping. Those sleeping droughts he gives his wife anesthetize her symptoms but don't address the root of the problem. He's drugging her (without a license), but she's not comfortably numb. She's still sick. What is her sickness? She seems severely depressed. She hasn't just got the blues. She's got full blown, not-going-away-anytime-soon-without-treatment depression, a pretty serious illness that can lead to suicide. And her husband is trying to treat it himself. It's not working. Why can't he admit defeat? What is that blind spot in him, that fatal flaw?

"A & P" and "Eveline" both present portraits of teenagers (19 yr-olds) at a defining moment when they have the opportunity to "grow up." In your reading of the two stories, are they successful? Why or why not?

This is such an open question, there's can't be any definitive answer. In fact, answers just lead to more questions. What does it mean to "grow up"? There's a lot of room for different definitions here. Deciding whether Sammy and Eveline seize their opportunities or not would seem to depend on one's definition of what it means to grow up. So here's one interpretation, based on one possible definition.

If we agree that maturity means self-reliance, independence, and a healthy amount of self-confidence to stand by one's decisions and choices, then it's just possible that Sammy in "A & P" is finally growing up. He may not be there yet, but he's taken the first step. I know a lot of readers see him in a far less positive light, but it's also possible to interpret his decision to quit as the first important decision, the first existentially authentic decision, he's made for himself. Until now, he's made no waves, though he's obviously really bored working this job his parents have approved for him (maybe they even arranged it for him). He's putting in his time, amusing himself by making fun of the customers. But if you look closely at that "fun," you notice it has a lot of bite to it. It's a pretty thin veneer for the total contempt he has for everyone around him; beneath all the patter he amuses himself with, he hates this job and even the town he's in. He even somewhat hates the girls he's been ogling in his cheerful, wiseguy way. Sammy knows this job is going nowhere. He has no intention of making a career out of the A&P, unlike his friend Stoksie. He's impatient, like most 19 year olds, for some kind of real life to begin, and it isn't happening at the A&P. So he seizes his opportunity to quit. He goes out valiantly, gallantly, a hero in his own eyes. But the growing pain associated with this grown-up decision comes immediately: "…my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter." For a moment it felt good to be a "man of principle," but how long will Sammy be able to maintain it? How many people stand up for their principles when their jobs are on the line? Sammy knows he's setting himself a high standard here, and how things turn out for him is so open to interpretation that it's difficult to settle on just one reading. Maybe he realizes how tough it will be to explain everything to his shocked, disappointed parents, and he goes back in to ask for his job back. Maybe his parents talk him into asking for his job back, and he postpones growing up indefinitely (some people do). Or maybe he leaves town and moves to Greenwich Village and writes beat poetry for a few years before going to NYU? This is a small moment but a defining one. He takes a step into unknown territory -- his parents' disapproval. (How harsh will the consequences of that disapproval be? Sammy risks it for the sake of making his own decisions.) Was Sammy acting childishly or maturely? Now that he's quit, should he move on or go back? A lot of readers thought he should have kept his job because quitting represented shirking his responsibilities. That raises a great question, though. Properly speaking, how should we define Sammy's responsibilities? What should be his first priority?

The same questions could be asked of Eveline. What are her proper responsibilities? What should be her first priority? The portrait Joyce paints of her at the end of the story is not one most nineteen year olds would jump to emulate: "She set her white face to him, passive, like a helpless animal. Her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell or recognition." She drained, emptied, devoid of life, emotionally crippled, paralyzed at the story's end. Whether you agree with him or not, it seems that Joyce is implying she made the wrong decision; she should have gone with her lover and pursued a new life unburdened by the threat of violence and by responsibilities that weren't rightfully hers. But her ability to make the right decision for herself has been irreparably destroyed by her upbringing. She hasn't received the nurturing care Sammy has, and now it shows. She can't take the necessary step away. Although she's in love with a wonderful man who is in love with her, she can't break free. The moment goes away, leaving Eveline a "helpless animal." "Eveline" is such a sad story, compared to "A & P."

 

 

 

     

 


Questions? Contact me.

All materials unless otherwise indicated are copyright © 2001-2002 by Stacy Tartar Esch.
FALL 2001 site is available at BRAINSTORM-SERVICES.COM
The original contents of this site may not be reproduced, republished, reused, or retransmitted
without the express written consent of Stacy Tartar Esch.
These contents are for educational purposes only.