T.C. Boyle Writes of Infidelity

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Katherine Meyer
English 1100 Sec. 131
November 4th, 2008
Indefinitely Infantile Infidelity
As an apparent defiance of one of the Ten Commandments, Adultery, the act of voluntary sexual involvement between a married individual and someone whom is not his or her spouse is a widely frowned upon taboo that disregards social norms. Staying true to his style and content by pushing the envelope on controversial topics such as this in his writing, T.C. Boyle frequently addresses the theme of adultery throughout many of his short stories. Reoccurring in the selections “Caviar” and “All Shook Up” adultery takes on a disturbing component of the stories as the main characters similarly get caught up in the unacceptable. With differing motives, paralleling sexual interests and desires, as well as converse outcomes for the two men defying the sacred vows they once made under holy matrimony, Boyle weaves two complex stories of deceit and malice.

Adultery outside the world of fiction is committed for an infinite number of reasons; attempted justifications that can roll on for miles. In these particular stories, aside from their irrepressible habitual instincts, the main characters Mr. Trimpie and Patrick in “Caviar” and “All Shook up” have differing objectives when they decide to officially sever the vows they once made to their wives. The differing motives for each man’s imprudent acts against the principles of marriage cover a broad spectrum of rationale. Leading to his downfall, In “Caviar” the central character Mr. Trimpie finds himself unable to reproduce with his sterile wife, Marie. Although he is not to blame for the fruitless attempts at an offspring as Boyle describes, “The bad news was that Marie’s ovaries were shot” (109) it is apparent that his own insecurities in addition to other factors brand him vulnerable and susceptible to bad judgment, such as infidelity. This vulnerability presents itself when he frequently references his lack of education and wealth...
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