Wants by Gracey Paley

Topics: Marriage Pages: 2 (608 words) Published: March 23, 2005
Grace Paley wrote a story, "Wants", which deals with the fact that there is more to life than just wanting to have possession of a certain item. Sometimes when two people have different attitudes, outlooks, and values in life, their personalities tend to clash. This is exactly what happened to the two characters in the story.

At the very beginning, a woman is at the library when her ex-husband walks by her. "Hello my life"(8). Her husband replies bitterly by saying "What? What life? No life of mine" (8).
The ex-husband selfishly makes it seem like he does not want to acknowledge the fact that they were married for 27 years. He clearly just "wants" to erase his ex-wife completely from his memory and move on. However, that is obviously not possible for him to forget her entirely.

The ex-husband could be described as a callow and materialistic person. "In many ways, as I look back, I contribute the dissolution of our marriage to the fact that you [ex-wife] never invited the Bertram's to dinner"(8). After he says this, the ex-wife argues that she could not have had them over to dinner because her father was sick and her children were born. By blaming the marriage solely on the ex-wife, the ex-husband has proven himself to be an inconsiderate and irresponsible person because he was not willing to take any of the blame for the failed marriage. The ex-husband could also be seen as a materialistic person. He claims that the other reason their marriage failed was because "I wanted a sailboat. But you [ex-wife] didn't want anything" (9). The ex-wife is not like him because she is more of a family oriented person. She showed that by not inviting the Bertram's to dinner at all because her family situations came first. Even though she was not a wealthy person and was not able to afford the sailboat, she always made sure that their children were provided for, and that they had everything they needed.

Towards the end of the story, when the...
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