By Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette
When it comes to marriage and what it stands for, the short story “The Hand” written by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette is a complete mockery. It symbolizes anything but what love and marriage should reflect. The young wife, clearly the protagonist, seemed to have found disgust with the antagonist, “the hand” of her husband. The young woman and older man with more power and experience seemed to set a stage of disaster. Marriage should be between two people bound by love with all of their mind and heart. In this case it is all open for questioning. The hand described the thoughts of a newly wedded young woman’s thoughts as she lay down next to her husband that she barely knew. At first, she was pleased with her the man’s “blond hair, ruddy-complexioned… his mouth, full and likeable his skin like pink bricks and eyelashes that are so long.” The young bride felt “too happy to sleep… holding her left arm around her husband’s neck with authority.” However, she began to rationalize her marriage to her husband. She apparently loved the older man but She has become aware of how much stronger this older man was in comparison to her. The strong and powerful hand that was “bigger than her whole head.” She needed to adjust to her new life with her husband which was more experience than her. She compared her life to where she lived as a little girl where her curtains were “apricot-pink.” Now she is in a room with periwinkle blue curtains with a stranger in her arms fearing what might be in store for her in the near future. She began to show signs of fear in her mind as she examined the husband’s hand as if it were some microbe under a microscope. The young woman described the hand as an animal with apelike appearance. The young woman appeared to be having second thoughts however during her time that may have not been a possibility. She had to choose to live with the frightening hand of her husband or else. The unsuspecting hand, not knowing...
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