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The Hand: Rose Colored Glasses Essay, Research Paper
Rose Colored Glasses
The love that a woman can possess towards a man can be the strongest love that she will ever know. However, many women confuse love with adoration. This confusion can lead to heartache and a life of submission. When a woman adores a man, she is viewing him through rose-colored glasses and calls it love. It takes a lot for a woman s love to waver, but her view on the man can change as easily as the wind blows. In Colette s The Hand, and in Munro s Prue, each woman changes how she feels about her man, and yet in the end, she remains with him.
As with any typical new bride, the young wife in The Hand adores her new husband. she proudly bore the weight of the man s head (220). Another reason why the young wife adores her new husband is because she is no longer a little girl because of him. the blue of the brand-new curtains, instead of the apricot-oink through which the first light of day filtered into the room where she had slept as a little girl. (220). In Prue, the main character, Prue, posses an adoration for her man, Gordon, even though he is not her husband. It is not a loving adoration, but more of an adoration of his status. When she talks to friends about him, she has to mention things that pertain to his status such as Do you know that there are four bathrooms [in his house]? (455). Prue is in Toronto because of Gordon, even though her children and the townspeople hope that is not the reason why. The similarity between these two women is that their relationships are based on adoration. This similarity plays a very important part in the endings of each story.
In the end of The Hand, the young bride chooses to stay with her new husband, not out of love, nor out of adoration, but because of fear. Then she concealed her fear (222). This fear is a fear not only of his hand and his demeanor, but also of the fear that she will be thrust back into her childhood without him. The adoration she once held for him is undoubtedly gone now, but still she begins her life of duplicity, of resignation, and of a lowly, delicate diplomacy, (222) by leaning over and humbly kissing the monstrous hand. (222).
In the end of Prue, Prue starts the cycle that she is living with Gordon all over again by taking the cufflink from his dresser. When she goes home and puts the cufflink in the tin, it shows how long she has been a part of this cycle. Prue puts something into this tin every time that she wants to forget about something. She just takes something, every now and then, and puts it away in the dark of the old tobacco tin, and more or less forgets about it. (457). Prue does not want to realize that Gordon will never be solely hers, but the old age of the tobacco tin and the number of trinkets in it begin to show Prue the truth. The cycle that she is a part of is that Gordon will always come back to her after his other failed love attempts. She patiently waits for him because of the adoration that she has for his status. Somewhere in her world, she feels that someday she will marry him after he is over being in love. (456). Prue s adoration for his wealth and status in Toronto is what keeps her waiting for Gordon every time he returns.
Ultimately, it is not love, but adoration that binds each woman to her man. The rose-colored glasses are removed and each woman is realizing the truth. The young bride stays with her husband because he has brought her out of her childhood, turned her into his bride, and given her wifely duties. The fear of losing all of this is what forces the young bride to submit to him. Prue stays in Toronto because she is an integral part of Gordon s love cycle. He always comes back to her, and she relies on that to keep herself happy. While it is not true love that holds each woman in her place, it is adoration and fear that keep her there.
Colette, Sidonie-Gabrielle. The Hand. The Bedford Introduction to Literature. ed Michael Myer. 1999. pp 220-222.
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