The Hand By Colette Summary

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In The Hand, by Colette, readers see into the mind of a newly married wife as she watches her husband rest. Readers see the young woman’s fascination with her husband and how she admires his appearance, until she reaches his hands. Once the wife begins studying the features of the hand, readers begin to see her sentiments change to disgust. Coincidentally, the hand seems to come to life in that moment of observation. Consequently, the young woman becomes frightened be the grotesque appearance of the hand as it moves in the man’s sleep. In the morning, the wife bends to kiss the very hand, she finds intolerable. The kiss she places upon the man’s hand symbolizes their marital relationship in more ways than one. The kiss symbolizes the…show more content…
The story begins with a husband resting on his wife’s shoulder, the wife “proudly bore the weight of the man's head.” This beginning implies the wife’s contentment of being suppressed by the weight of another. As the story continues, readers see the wife begin to complain about the weight in her desire to stand. Here, readers can see her resistance to being overpowered by her husband, but her compliance is then noted by her next word, “but he's sleeping so well.” The wife forgets her own desires and concedes to not disturb her husband’s slumber, this shows her own will fizzle out to benefit her lover. The final words of her inner turmoil all suggest her resignation of fight and her submission to her husband, “beginning her life… of resignation, and of a lowly delicate diplomacy,.” In her curved posture, readers see her ultimate surrender as she “humbly” places a kiss upon her husband’s hand to represent the extent of her love allowing her to concede to his will.
Additionally, the kiss also symbolizes the acceptance of the newly established marriage. The young wife begins by being, "Too happy to sleep", showing her excitement for her new life. That excitement allows her to be open to the changes formed by the union. Slight details such as the change of curtains and sheet color from that of her childhood provide the woman with a sense of realty. This allows the woman to acknowledge that her life is now one of change and adaption where she is
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