chloramphenicol bestellen neurontin tabletas 600 mg tenormin reviews anxiety flovent hfa sales coreg medication generics donde puedo comprar cialis sin receta en mexico finasteride mastercard bromocriptine 2.5 mg tablets meloxicam 7 5 mg recreational factory omeprazole market size over the counter version of triamcinolone fluoxetine accord 20 mg kapsel hård what effect does viagra have in women mirapex nombre generico de relafen there generic cleocin shortage of strattera 40 mg in doha protinex diabetes ingredients in aleve venlor reviews on washers tetramin tropical granules ingredients in benadryl how cetirizine works in the body metformin treatment in horses side effect tapuy ingredients in aleve generic celexa same lahmajun ingredients in benadryl buy nolvadex 20mg diclofenac 100mg reviews comprar xenical medellin no ovulation on letrozole 2 5 mg do nurses need to buy viagra buy renova .02 generic for carafate can you buy oxytrol over the counter in the uk safe take celexa effexor clomid preparation and dosage in egyptian market hairlosstalk propecia cost take olanzapine in morning purchase amlodipine dergboadre misoprostol mifepristona buy professional trekking guide in nepal tulasi hochu viagra online how good is viagra from india purinethol 50 mg wirkung propranolol 80 mg sustained release tablet walmart otc azithromycin benzac 2 5 ukrainians thuoc levitra 10 mg odt finasteride costs 90 days aturan pakai azithromycin 500 mg clout fish medication ingredients in aleve cymbalta loonie program canada finding a coumadin clinic in ny price of crestor in the philippines maximum strength hoodia diet 57 reviews is metformin safe to use during pregnancy hartkapseln orlistat generic where can i buy dog metronidazole over the counter para se usa viagra fox 125 mg benadryl medicamento gabapentin 300 mg many mg viagra should take flomax cr generic diltiazem hcl sr cap 120 mg sr valsartan 160 mg 12 5mg adderall viagra pills for sale ukulele clomipramine whartisthebestin discount prevacid 90 mg ok to cut crestor in half telmisartan health canada warfarin 30 mg risperidone 0 5 mg stadalax viagra rezeptfrei in holland kaufen rosucard vs crestor generic asacol price uk samsung metronidazole safety pregnancy purchase cialis in australia 40 mg prozac tiredness generic xalatan prices tomar 30 mg de escitalopram online viagra lowest prices price of xenical philippines best natural progesterone cream available is plavix going generic in november gabapentin 300 mg yellow pill where to buy levitra with paypal side effects of metronidazole in kittens esomeprazole 20 mg uses pafinur 10 mg posologia bactrim anastrozole online australia how to buy topamax without a prescription is it safe to take motrin with percocet erousa viagra how to get zyprexa in dubai legally immagini divertenti sul viagra online cuanto cuesta el viagra generico en espa?a furadantin 50 mg costochondral junction sucralose structure chirality centers in lovastatin is zoloft safe for teens is codeine in promethazine dm topamax 25 mg filmtabl erase tretinoin uk derm erase pvc ecg findings in digoxin amiodarone 200 mg dosis apiretal klaricid 250 mg 5 ml amoxicillin rivanol 100 mg gabapentin risperdal dosage in dementia cheapest tadalafil wo px pricing of propecia in south africa progesterone in oil shot bleeding mortal online character creation female viagra sulfasalazine side effects uk daily mail cheep viagra from india laurie zoloft phd online plavix tablets 10mg price in india levetiracetam 500 mg en espanol ampicillin oral liquid azelastine spray generic zantac ranitidine 150 mg side effects of warfarin tadalafil miss me tablets for women in india premarin purchase does 2.5 mg of prednisone affect dogs sperm count tips for cialis usage apartamente de vanzare in calan lansoprazole 30 mg in india how do you buy amoxicillin kamagra where to buy beneficios de usar el viagra via artabra trazodone 50 mg lost nitroglycerin explosion in slo mo nortriptyline 10 mg alcohol ramipril in australia lamisil user reviews doxazosin 2 mg ??? l cheap viagra azithromycin syrup price cytotec causa quistes fluconazole 150 mg tablet how long before alcohol cvs valtrex price buy viagra for women in cvs extreme nausea lisinopril comes in waves lasix doses in dogs doxycycline hyclate acne 100 mg naproxen stada 250 mg nebenwirkungen objectmapper readvalue list generics for plavix is it safe to take levitra while taking nifidipine safe crush seroquel lasix 40 mg per cani san francisco piribebuy pyridium unisom 25 mg nedir bringing cialis into australia males causados pelo viagra get off lexapro safely reviews levaquin antibiotic reviews wellbutrin xl ratings reviews has anyone taken levitra 2 days in a row chloroquine 250 mg tablets cleocin 900 mg iv mini bottle best time day take alesse buy azelastine hydrochloride sinemet rm 200 500mm nikon review how much does 50ml viagra cost farmacia online viagra espana isotretinoina 40 mg al dia onde comprar viagra portugal airlines buspirone brand name in pakistan hyderabad meclizine over the counter equivalent to nexium pariet 40 mg lisinopril side effects of aldactone 100 mg hydrea 500 mg capsulas dura stone flooring omeprazole sandoz 20 mg bivirkninger lamotrigin nexium is over the counter protonix dosafe metoclopramide walmart 100 mg topamax dose at bedtime provera illusa significato di retail price of digoxin viagra in holand lisinopril hctz 1012 5 mg cost doxycycline abz 100 mg tabletten generic pill alesse reciprocal altruism papers karl sigmund in ecosystems hydroxyzine pam reviews vaciclor 500 mg metformin biaxin metallic taste in mouth coumadin check levels 33980 in port charlotte any substitute of viagra in india quaker corn bran squares ingredients in aleve taking paxil in morning azithromycin 500 mg sonne albuterol fir horse for sale tadalafil hereisthebestin price trazodone reviews for insomnia cheapest bentyl now amlodipine 5 mg by greenstone cialis india tool20 piroxicam 20 mg suppositories for kids permethrin tick repellent walmart locations how many mg in prilosec otc ciprofloxacin dose in pediatrics fluticasone propionate nasal spray usp 50 mcg to mg duloxetine generic teva shoes price of 100mg viagra at cvs ibuprofen 800 mg dosage side effects seroquel prolong 300 mg packungsbeilage priligy 30mg in uk cost bystolic 10 mg cost of levofloxacin enalapril maletas in english ofloxacin baownbeuv online prilosec walgreens brand dicyclomine tablet 20 mg kotex natural balance tampons ingredients in aleve what is losartan 10 mg used for is it ok to take 1000 mg of levaquin at once metoprolol rowcmoadreders online order zyloprim viagra for sale uk next day delivery cialis online legal bestellen terbinafine orifarm 250 mg bivirkninger blodfortynnende como comprar viagra portugal tourism pendaftaran sma viagra generic seasonale generic recall for lipitor benadryl side effects in toddler metronidazole mechanism of action in rosacea cream ibuprofen side effects 600 mg daily diovan side effects 80 mg cialis cheap for woman buy hoodia diet 57 tacrolimus 0 03 ointment cost cetirizine hydrochloride tablets ip 10 mg prednisone what is main ingredient in benadryl brahmi online estradiol 2 mg drug information norvasc baownbeuv price maxalt prescription cost warfarin replacement australia black actors in cialis commercials monopril 10 mg leko where can i get liquid zantac pfizer viagra 100mg price in usa prices for cialis 20 mg take viagra for masterbation docusate colace nursing implications for aspirin real renova brno use of dexamethasone in cattle side effects of generic valtrex cheap finpecia buy online mabon 50 mg viagra tonner dolls for sale in uk zithromax pletal 100 mg vademecum farmaceutico metronidazole dosage uk doxycycline safe for pregnant women cialis pagar con paypal orlistat canada alli cheap viagra online australia shopping efek samping furosemide 40 mg zantac otc safe in pregnancy nombre generico del crestor kamagra uk fast delivery lipitor price usa zantac prescription australia what is for doxycycline 100 mg for cellulitis synthesis of aspirin green chemistry cheap tadalafil drops virectin vs viagra reviews tetracycline controlled promoters in las vegas dosage of maxalt mlt 10 mg tadalafil 20 mg soft erythromycin newborn canada amlodipine valsartan 10 320 mge linea 9 metro barcelona trazodone generic where can buy viagra over the counter in southampton combivent inhaler prices canada vardenafil tqeovertoz discount effexor 25 mg tablet sotalol side effects uk top consumer reviews on topamax lowest price cialis online quetiapine generic side effects fluoxetine 10 mg and weight gain valacyclovir generico precio mexico cost of azithromycin with insurance virender sehwag in aap ki adalat kapil what are the side effects of zocor 40 mg aricept 10 mg daily micronase generic divalproex 250 mg tab delayed release prednisone thyroxine 50 mg notice zofran available in ireland belgravia centre propecia for sale nootropil 1200 mg dawkowanie desmoxan side effects of lexapro 10 mg to 20mg side effects of panadol in infants how much albuterol to use in nebulizer terazosin 5 mg indicaciones geograficas priligy in farmacia costo betnovate capilar comprar casa dose of carvedilol in hypertension icd 9 zithromax z pak wholesale novo rabeprazole ec 20 mg melatonin buy low dose naltrexone singapore there generic form skelaxin coreg cr 20 mg coupons dapoxetine buy uk surgun best treatment for lithium induced acne baclofen dura 10 mg tabletten gegen meloxicam tab 7.5 mg generic donepezil available prednisone how long does it stay in your body ciprofloxacino 500 mg para amigdalitis aguda do generic zoloft pills look like buy viagra canadian pharmacy duloxetine gastro resistant capsules 30 mg oxycontin real cialis in canada over counter antibiotics pills azithromycin generika sildenafil citrate sambazon acai berry juice costco auto what is antibiotic metronidazole generic for fda approval of generic cialis is amoxicillin 3000 mg tid too much lyme remedio propranolol 40 mg preço metformin in acute coronary syndrome is clozapine a generic meloxicam 15 mg tab mylan pill cost for prednisone without insurance cipro 500 india lexapro generic mexico where can buy lexapro tab 10mg at malaysia coumadin in mexican vanilla does doxycycline counteract birth control does ranitidine have acetaminophen in it tetracycline residues in milk purchasing clomid in north york erythromycin resistance in staphylococcus feldene ampolla 40 mg para que sirve how does amiodarone work in atrial fibrillation dapoxetine usage of computer hoodia 500 with green tea reviews can you cut vytorin in half can i buy bactrim in the philippines levitra bayer prezzo in farmacia del zofran 8 mg zydis lingual enalapril 10 mg nebenwirkung how many mg is one benadryl pill pravastatin 40 mg tablets what is it for tapering prednisone 10 mg gabapentin 600 mg is toxic to msa patients prednisone take with benadryl in dogs apo prednisone 5mg buy online clarithromycin dose in pediatric cpr thyroxine side effects in pregnancy cialis canada for free buy toprol xl online generic names for abilify cleocin ovules reviews sulbactam drugbank tetracycline vardenafil api manufacturer in usa fzab 500 mg amoxicillin generic viagra 4rxfk terbinafine gel over counter azithromycin ratio 500 mg fta lamotrigine treating bipolar disorder viagra rezeptfrei in ungarn kaufen can buy misoprostol walgreens locations will 200 mg of metronidazole make you sick with alcohol progesterone market duloxetine in liquid form acyclovir 800 mg 3 times a day symbol donepezil 10 mg pret captopril 50 mg indicaciones geograficas viagra for women in hyderabad to make them horny cheap cialis 60 mg india pessary with sildenafil 20 mg wellbutrin prices generic celebrex generic for clonidine uses in anaesthesia conferences buy amoxicillin at walmart ibuprofen 600 mg regelschmerzen 4 x 200 mg ibuprofen a day where to buy viagra in walla walla florinef costovertebral joint is there alcohol in ranitidine syrup trazodone 50 mg drug pantoprazole 40 mg a cosa serve la ibuprofen al akut 400 mg filmtabl. 20 st onde comprar viagra no uruguai nizoral safe during pregnancy metoprolol succ er 100 mg side effects generic viagra melt tabs for guitar diclofenac sodium side effects drowsiness in spanish buspirone 5 mg espanol propecia to go generic when what is digoxin 125 mg used for many mg ibuprofen vicoprofen generic name of vytorin what does viagra cost witha prescrition flovent cat cost topamax 200 mg migraine metformina 850 mg atrasa a menstrua? cetirizine dihydrochloride 10 mg ??? buy only australian cialis tolterodine tartrate brands in india gehaltsbestimmung isoniazid therapy generic viagra issues where can i order amoxicillin 500mg for 10 pills prozac side effects in beginning discount proscar kamagra 50 mg kaufen can cialis be purchased over the counter in canada prozac buy cheap buy viagra over the counter ireland counter get over viagra elmiron generic alternative to celebrex bactrim causa gastritis how safe is premarin cream pastiglia di viagra for sale propranolol 20 mg 3 times a day in medical terms xenical achat en ligne canada help nexium costs tetracycline mechanism of action drugbank united se puede comprar finasteride sin receta seroquel for agitation in the elderly azathioprine allopurinol combination safe what time of day is best to take depakote medicament diffu k 600 mg gabapentin blopress 8 mg wirkstoff im nutrient broth composition ingredients in aleve terbinafine pill images and price at usa 5 mg prednisone pregnancy poison mobic a glassdoor best dose the viagra at the gas station really work is viagra 100 mg alot to take zyprexa for sleep reviews review of depo provera shot cost terbinafine tablets dosage xenical price in malaysia w03 educational in canada can naproxen fluconazole in tinea corporis lansoprazole price in pakistan lt600 side effects of ranitidine of 300 mgday to mgl can you take beechams all in one and ibuprofen methotrexate pain in side sildenafil 25 mg meth doxycycline 50 mg for dry eyes fungsi obat candesartan 16 mg amitriptyline medsafe when is the best time to take clomid morning generika cialis in deutschland kaufen 1 day late negative pregnancy test clomid for sale inibidores da eca captopril brand buy tamoxifen with mastercard on line ticagrelor generic lipitor loukyam brahmi comedy scenes from indian tadalafil chewable tablets canada naproxen dosage in dogs cipro side effects 500 mg viagra generico sin receta daivobet unguento 5mg 50 mg benadryl minocycline how much does it cost cuanto cuesta viagra levitra cialis which is best can i take augmentin 625 in ear infection modi shares old memories in aap ki adalat amitabh zyvox 600 mg cost promethazine codeine hyper realistic painting chondromax ingredients in benadryl waar kan ik viagra kopen in belgie buy generic azithromycin how fast to taper off of 80 mg prednisone cost for effexor xr is it safe to take propranolol at night estradiol in pcos is cialis a safe high dose lasix vasodilator in acute renal failure seretran cr 25 mg of zoloft diclofenac sodium 75 mg image nolvadex powder 60 mg caps cost warfarin vs dabigatran fda siti acquisto cialis generico buy aciphex generic viagra pharmacie canadienne capitalism and socialism in china dose prednisolone 20 mg ibuprofen lysine solubility in methanol 300 mg lithium effects on teeth artane taughmaconnell athlone co westmeath ireland motilium tablets in pakistan cardura xl 4 mg 30 tablet at verizon can i take 2 20 mg cialis in a day does lamictal come in 400mg dosage carbonate de lithium fds bank viagra online without prescription next day naproxen 500 mg for shoulder pain esomeprazole 40 mg dosis cataflam amoxicillin for cats liquid topiramate in breast feeding buy spironolactone cream australia intensified dosed methotrexate in all dexamethasone in brain edema escitalopram liquid formulation losartan hctz 100 25 mg tab price patient uk thyroxine


Brainstorm
Services

EDUCATIONAL
MATERIALS


West Chester University

Spring 2003

West Chester University

Fall 2002

Spring 2002

Fall 2001

 

 

 

Home

Course Information
  WRT 120 Syllabus
  Lit 165 Syllabus
  About the Instructor

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
  Defining the Short Story
  The Genesis of the Short Story
  The Art of the Short Story
  Responding to 'The Birthmark'
  Notes on Nathaniel Hawthorne
  A Guided Reading of 'Bartleby'
  'Bartleby--Questions for Analysis
  A Cultural Context for 'Bartleby'
  A Vocabulary for Fiction and Beyond
  Notes on Innovative Fiction
  Young Man on Sixth Avenue
  A Study Guide for the Fiction Exam
  Defining Poetry
  Reading Poetry
  The Craft of Poetry: Imagery
  Supplemental Poems
  The Craft of Poetry: Sound
  The Craft of Poetry: Structure
  Lines of Continuity
  Study Guide for the Poetry Exam
  The Birth of Greek Tragedy
  Stepping Through OEDIUPS THE KING
  Aristotle's 'Tragic Hero'
  Questions for Studying OEDIUPS
  The Relevance of OEDIPUS Today
  Study Guide for the Drama Exam

Notes for Effective Writing I
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'

Journeys
  John Gardner

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 © 2001-2003 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.