birthday party

Topics: Marriage, Wife, Husband Pages: 3 (988 words) Published: February 16, 2014
“Birthday Party” by Katherine Brush uses literary devices such as tone, point of view, diction, and sensory details to achieve her purpose.
The title of this short story is very deceiving the tone is different from the tone of the story. The tone changes from happy to sad as soon as the cake is brought out. The women tried to show affection and love towards her husband by the cake but it was basically turned down. The point of view is through a random person who doesn’t know the couple at all. The speaker doesn’t know how they are as a couple but can see that the woman is upset at her husband’s reaction to the cake. “You looked at him and you saw this and you thought, “Oh, now, don’t be like that!” this quote almost lets us know that the speaker wanted to jump in and defend the women but can’t because she does not know the couple. Katharine Brush's short story "Birthday Party" reveals how joyless a marriage can be when spouses are too unimaginative to stray from the bourgeois notions of how a man-woman relationship should function. Brush writes of a sweet and sensitive wife who takes her husband out to eat on his birthday. Instead of being pleased when the wife surprises her husband with a cake, the husband is cross and unkind. Upon noticing her husband's displeasure, the wife sits crying submissively. The husband has asserted his role as head of the household too practical for frivolous romance and the wife sadly obeys his wishes for practicality and convention. The story's opening sentence describes the couple as somewhat bland and certainly normal. The statement that they are in their "late thirties" and appear "unmistakably married" (line one) immediately categorizes them and therefore stereotypes them. The fact that they sit in a "narrow" (line two) restaurant suggests that with their bland, stable demeanor, perhaps they are narrow-minded. With the couple's strict regard for the appropriate behavior of a man and wife, as is evident later in the text, they...
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