“A relationship is like standing on wet cement. The longer you stand, the more difficult is to leave. ” This means that it is hard to leave someone that you have been spending most of your life with, especially someone that you have shared almost everything with. This quote fits very well with the problem for one of the main characters in the story “the Strong Man” “The Strong Man” by George Garrett takes place in Pisa in Italy. The story is about a woman and her husband Harry. They are sitting in a little trattoria besides the Arno.
They are talking about their relationship and about the baby they are expecting. Harry has been cheating on her and every time she finds out, they just leave places. After they have been talking for a while, they leave to get back to the hotel. Suddenly they see a man performing on the streets. Harry calls him “some kind of a strong man”. The strong man has a little struggle getting out of the chains that he has been wrapped tightly in. After they have watched the strong man free himself from the chains, they walk back to the hotel.
The themes in this story are fighting for your relationship and finding you inner strength. The wife has a hard battle with trying to fight for her relationship, but at the same time she needs to find her inner strength to tell Harry that she does not like it when he controls her. In the beginning of the story we get an almost perfect impression of Harry which is one of the main characters along with his wife. His wife describes him as a charming, handsome guy with small eyes, sandy hair and a great smile, though she thinks there is something strangely unreal about him, like an alien.
Even though we get the perfect description of him, we later on realize that that’s only how he looks on the outside. There is an unfaithful man behind that great smile of his. He takes advantage of his wife. Even though he keeps cheating on her she keeps forgiven him. He is the dominating part of their relationship, and he knows that she dependents on him. He is very manipulating. He uses her love for him, to make her do, what he wants her to do, which is to stay with him.
When his wife does not agree with him that they will get over it just like they do with everything that is not serious, he decides to change his technique. He starts playing on her emotions, and tries to make her feel bad by asking her what she is going to do with their unborn child if she leaves him. He knows how to control her. We do not get description on how the wife looks like. She is very frustrated and unhappy in her marriage. She decides to make Harry aware of her feelings and thoughts by telling him that she is not sure about their marriage anymore.
She is not sure whether, she should stay with him or leave him. She is very emotional, because she is about to cry when he tells her that he is sure she is not going to leave him. She realizes a bit that she might be weak, because he is so sure where he has her. Her hormones from the pregnancy can also be the reason she is that emotional, and she has a hard time deciding what to do with her life and marriage. She is very easily manipulated, as she does everything Harry tells her and she does not have the strength to leave him even though he is cheating on her.
She is a fool for love, and she wants to try to save her marriage, that is why she keeps forgiven Harry every time he cheats. Another reason can be that she is pregnant with what seems to be their first child, and she is trying to make it work for the child. When they are watching the strong man trying to get out of the chains, Harry tells her that they should go now, but she put her foot down for the first time and tells him that she wants to see the show. She becomes determent, and does not want Harry to control her anymore. At the end of the story the wife identifies herself with the strong man.
He is a symbol of what she is going through. She sees herself in those chains trying to break free from her marriage, and the struggle along the way. She sees herself wanting to get out of the marriage that is keeping her trapped and unhappy. At one point it seems like the strong man would not be able to free himself from the rope, but then he somehow is able to free himself. That is somehow how her life is. In the begging of the story she thought that she would not be able to break free from this misery, but after she sees the strong man, she is now aware that she can.
Harry does not control her life anymore. So that is why she decides to leave him in the end. She finally opens her eyes and sees that she controls her own life. She is not only making the decision for herself, but also for her unborn child. For the wife in this story it is hard to leave Harry. She has been married to him for quite some time, and she is so deep into the relationship that it is hard for her to leave him. Even though she tries to fight for it, she realizes in the end that she needs to let go of their relationship.
Courtney from Study Moose
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