A Simple Exchange of Niceties

Topics: Mother, Short story, Fiction Pages: 2 (936 words) Published: May 2, 2013

“As if a kid was on my agenda.” Is a quote from the short story “A Simple Exchange of Niceties” by Joanne Fedler. It describes the short story pretty well. We hear the story from the woman’s point of view; She accidentally gets pregnant and wants to let it all be “scraped out” of her when it’s possible. Later she then she changes her opinion and decides to keep her baby. A main theme of the short story is partly related to the title. We hear about the narrator and her choice of exchanging “niceties”, which in her case is her baby. She at first don’t want to even keep the baby, but later on she wants to get the baby and even names her Summer. The lady sits on “her” bench in the park and meets a stranger, who reminds the narrator of her “Ma” and how she thinks, that she is a bad mother. The narrator has a motherly complex and that’s the other main theme of this story. The narrator at first thinks her own mom would have traded her away for a week’s holiday at a three star resort and that she is just “bad news”. Later on, when the narrator decides to keep the baby and her mother knows, she receives money from her mother each month and a pink knitted shirt. She keeps it all and doesn’t even get tempted once, to spend it on herself. Both the mother and the narrator show themselves from their good-mom-sides and they both show, that they are good parents. The mom maybe influences her daughter, but nevertheless she ends up keeping the baby. This just shows that the motherly complexes aren’t as big a problem, if you just face them and see that they’re not really a big deal anyway. The narrator is a lady and the main person of the story, she seems to have very low confidence. She doesn’t enjoy her job at a restaurant, and it isn’t what she really wants. She generalizes about the teenage dream of going to Paris at an art school but it’s really her own dream. When she talks about herself, she often mentions the words trash and whore. The father of her child said that...
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