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Bergman’s decision to begin each paragraph without a transition into the next thought proved to be very effective due to the narrator’s attitude towards her bad luck concerning love. She is very indecisive throughout the story, and the depths of her confusion are shown through juxtaposed syntax. I think it’s interesting that she has such a radical aspiration to preach celibacy following her failed marriage, especially since her husband wanted to fix their relationship.

I also like the idea that the narrator herself was potentially responsible for the heartache in her life; she refused gifts and left romanticism unacknowledged, reflecting on a time that Nate, her ex-husband once said,

Don’t be so principled. Let me spoil you. Let me feel necessary.”

Her inability to accept gifts and embrace romance allows the reader to infer that her husband felt obligated to search elsewhere for reciprocal affection. She also confides that she essentially had a plan B aside during the course of their marriage, her past experiences ruling her ability to trust her husband. She says,

I liked to have a contingency plan—people died, spouses cheated.”

The strategic nature she possessed concerning her relationship, coupled with her inability to acknowledge herself as having a type-A personality, demonstrated the rift she unintentionally caused between her husband and herself. Although she never realized it, she was constantly leaving Nate alone, his infidelity acting as a symbol of his loneliness. I really enjoyed the reality of this story; the characters feel real as well as the situation.

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