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A Failure in a Marriage” a Critical Analysis of "The Girls in Their Summer Dresses

Decent Essays
Daljit Ghotra
Eng 102
Jan./10/11
Prof: Mr. Elvis Tirado "A Failure in a Marriage” A critical analysis of "The Girls in their Summer Dresses"

"The Girls in their Summer Dresses" by Irwin Shaw is about romantic love, fidelity, and marriage. The story is about Michael and Frances, a rich, young, outgoing couple living in midtown manhattan, who's marriage is going downhill because of Michael's desire for other women. Eventhough Michael has desires for other women, his wife, Frances, is unable to do anything about it because of society's stagima. Also due to the time period the story was written in, divorce was considered a really bad thing. Throughout the story we discover how Frances loves Michael so much, but Michael does not
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This is considered cheating and obviously if there is cheating than there is no love at all.

Furthermore Michael does nothing when Frances is crying face down into her handkerchief. "Michael didn't say anything. He sat watching the bartender slowly peel a lemon."(Shaw 8) This shows that Michael does not care about Frances' feelings. It looks as though for Michael the relationship is based on physical appearance because even after a long discussion at the bar when Frances got up from the table, "Michael watched her walk, thinking, what a pretty girl, what nice legs."(Shaw 9) If Michael really loves Frances he should try to see her inner feelings instead of her physical appearance.

On the other hand, Frances being a good wife loves her husband. She tells him "Lets just hang around with each other. You and me." This proves that she like being with him. She also has respects for him. Unlike Michael who is always looking at other girls she tells him she hasn't looked at another man since the second time they went out. Moreover, we find out that she truly loves him when she says "I'd do any damn thing for you." This shows that she is a good wife deeply in love with her husband. Frances being respectful, faithful, and loving proves that there are no complaints about their marriage from her side.

In the ending, the most effective part of the story, we see how a women at that time period could not do anything to solve the problem but instead deal with it. Frances
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