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A Failure in a Marriage” a Critical Analysis of "The Girls in Their Summer Dresses

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  • Feb. 2011
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Daljit Ghotra
Eng 102
Jan./10/11
Prof: Mr. Elvis Tirado
 
"A Failure in a Marriage” A critical analysis of "The Girls in their Summer Dresses"  
 
"The Girls in their Summer Dresses" by Irwin Shaw is about romantic love, fidelity, and marriage. The story is about Michael and Frances, a rich, young, outgoing couple living in midtown manhattan, who's marriage is going downhill because of Michael's desire for other women. Eventhough Michael has desires for other women, his wife, Frances, is unable to do anything about it because of society's stagima. Also due to the time period the story was written in, divorce was considered a really bad thing. Throughout the story we discover how Frances loves Michael so much, but Michael does not love her. Michael being totally disrespectful puts their marriage in jeopardy.  

There are many points in the story from which we find out that Michael does not love Frances. Firstly, Michael disrespects Frances by looking at other girls. If he really love her, he should show respect and pay attention to her instead of looking at these other women on the street. Even when he is with his wife he looks at other girls. Who knows what he does when she is not with him, even though he says he hasn't touched any women in past five years since he is with her? Who knows! He isn’t even afraid for a single minute that his wife is walking with him and he shouldn’t watch other girls. He still think that he is macho guy according to the story "I am the envy of all men between the ages of fifteen and sixty in the state of New York." He forgets his wife, his love. He didn’t even care once about what she will think about. He was totally not in love. They don’t have mutual understanding at all.

Second, not that Michael is unfaithful now but as he said he could be in future. When they are having the discussion at a bar on 8th street, Michael tells Frances that he not only looks at pretty women on street but also fantasizes about being with them....