Why Come Back? by Monica Lavin

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Why Come Back? by Mónica Lavín is the story of Victor and Marta, a married couple struggling to overcome a rough patch in their marriage. Lavín narrates the story through Victor’s perspective, with a stereotypical machista ideology. Marta and Victor have been married for 35 years, and one day she left Victor for another man. Three months later Marta has come back to try and reconcile with her husband, but Victor is hesitant in his decision to let her back into his life and he keeps asking himself why she would come back. Lavín strategically uses silence and language in Why Come Back? to emphasize the theme of female submission in a patriarchal environment through Marta’s compliant behavior and Victor’s dominant and resentful attitude. Victor’s machista ideals are evident since the first line of the story where he says “If a woman leaves, you should not let her come back home”. It becomes immediately safe to assume that he does not see Marta as his equal. Victor has done his utmost to adjust to the absence of a woman in his home, and while his pride will not allow him to admit it aloud, he does admit it to himself. The readers notice how Victor emphasizes his need for Marta to take care of the house substantially more than his need for the emotional comfort that she provided, which is slim to none. Lavín uses language to highlight the role of a woman as the homemaker through Victor’s description of the house in her absence. He says that he has started to enjoy going to

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