Country Husband

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Conformity in “The Country Husband” is what causes Francis Weed’s behavior to change

Webster’s dictionary defines conformity as: action in accordance with some specified standard or authority, conformity to social custom. In “The Country Husband” Francis Weed had a brush with death, he then returned home to a less than enthusiastic greeting from his family. All Francis wants to do is tell them about his plane crash experience. This is not the greeting he gets from his family unfortunately. Francis said to his young son "Daddy was in a plane crash this afternoon, Toby. Don't you want to hear about it?"(Par. 7, line 19). He received no response from Toby, as a matter of a fact, he received no response from any of his other 3 kids or wife. He is unable to get any kind of response out of anyone because his story is too far out of what they expect to hear. This lack of caring about his dramatic experience is the tipping point for Francis. Francis realizes at this point that he is not happy with the life he has in Shady Hilly, he is tired of the phony, pretentious people and their attitudes. The over-whelming need for conformity of Francis Weed’s family in “The Country Husband” by John Cheever is what leads Francis Weed to rebel against the socially excepted actions of Shady Hill.

The night after the plane crash the reader sees the first out-burst from Francis. The Weeds returned home from a party, Mrs. Weeds went upstairs to change into something comfortable. Francis looked into the living room expecting to find their normal baby-sitter, Mrs. Henlein, but was surprised to find a beautiful, young girl. He went over to her and asked her where Mrs. Henlein was. She responded by saying “She is sick, but I’m Anna Murchison”. They chatted for a minute, and then Anna began to cry about her father. Anna began to cry because she had just spoke to her father on the phone, he had called her a slut and was in all possible ways, a horrible father. He did this often to Anna,...
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