These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community.
We are thankful of their contributions and encourage you to make your own.
Written by Julia Wolf
I thought it might make you happy. I wanted to make you happy.
Jim paid a great deal of money to buy a new radio. In spite of the fact, that he couldn’t afford it then, he did it. He thought it might make her “happy”, what was more important, he “wanted” to make her happy. However, instead of happy and grateful Irene, he gets a depressed and sad one. Although it is not his fault, he starts considering Irene’s unhappiness as a direct accusation and a sign of his failure.
Life is too terrible, too sordid, too awful. But we’ve never been like that, have we, darling?
People tend not to notice their own flaws but rarely miss them in others. Irene has been listening to the radio all day long and by the time Jim returns home, she is convinced that “life is too terrible, too sordid, too awful.” She is shocked by the number of unhappy marriages and violence. However, she overlooks that she and Jim have been “like that” for many years too.
Why are you so Christly all of a sudden?
Jim finds it is amusing that Irene has turned into “a convent girl” overnight. He remembers that she stole her mother’s jewelry “before they probated the will” and never gave her sister “a cent of that money that was intended for her – not even when she needed it.” She made someone’s life “miserable” and went to the abortionist “to have that child murdered.” It is possible that Jim tries to make the situation look worse that it really does, but there is at least one seed of reason. Nobody is perfect and nobody’s life is flatness.
Update this section!
You can help us out by revising, improving and updating
I think that the radio being the centerpiece of entertainment gives us the idea that this is largely a pre-television era. I don't think the setting was memorable to me other than setting up the exposition of the story.
I find the story rather sad and prophetic. In this day and age of social media, people seem quite willing to build their lives as an illusion. The young couple can represent most anyone on Facebook who finds validation in perpetuating the image of...
There is, among the middle class and socially "comfortable", a sense of desperation and irony. Cheevers builds the darker side of the new American dream. Although the Westcotts appear to be contented with their middle afluence there is an...