A simple Exchange of Niceties
What would you do if you had to make the decision to keep a baby or get an abortion? It is this decision the character in Joanne Fedler’s short story “A simple Exchange of Niceties” is so sure about that she have not included other than a boyfriend that did not love her. Through what she observes in the park, the women she meets and her mother she ends up revealing what she really needs.
The main character in the short story holds a negative opinion towards the other characters she meets or observes. She finds it rude if people do not consults her first when they interfere with her doings: “… if I’m already sitting there (the bench) and someone comes and sits down without even simple exchange of niceties … well, that’s just bad manners …”. The quote shows that the main character is a bit touchy when it involves her. She does not like to chit-chat, when she comes to the bench it is to relax: “Today, of all days, I needed to be alone on my bench”. But this day a girl came up to the bench and started to chit-chat. The girl was unable to have children. And when the conversation ended it had changed the main character’s opinion a little. In the beginning of the story the main character does not have a lot of self-insight. She is selfish and only think about her own needs: “I know you’re not supposed to smoke when you’re pregnant, but fuck it … “. After she talked to the sterile girl she thinks about giving the girl her child. After the main character tells her mother that she is pregnant, and start receiving support from her mother she gets more certain of keeping the baby. The main character starts to have some feelings towards her child.
The bench reflect the main characters life. She sees the bench as hers. It has generous slats and an invitation that is never revoked. It is always there fore her and do not judge her. Unlike the main character’s mother that never has supported her. She describes she bench with human situations...
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