In the story Say Yes by Tobias Wolff, a marriage is broken overnight by a revelation of the insufficiency of their love in the test. Along with the husband’s wrong response to the “Love Test”, the relationship is dramatically demolished by Ann’s sudden realization of the superficial love of her husband. Even though her husband tries to please Ann with the right answer, her feelings of love has already been shattered by distrust and suspicion. The hypothetical “Love Test” in the story reveals the superficiality of his love, drastically shifting the relationship from intimacy to uncertainty.
From the daily actions of the husband in daily lives, we can see that his blindness to love hampers his definition of love into simple consideration. And such superficial love directly accumulates dissatisfaction and it is unleashed by the love test. His husband’s attention to do the housework appears when he “overheard a friend of his wife 's congratulate her on having such a considerate husband.” (1, Tobias Wolff) Therefore, the husband convinces himself to achieve his love superficially by “Helping out with the dishes was a way he had of showing how considerate he was.” (1, Tobias Wolff) In his mind love represents showing devotion and helping each other in daily lives, a wrong thought that broken easily by the love test that gets rid of self-identity and ethnical identity. When his wife get hurt, he neither rethinks that it is his fault by giving back the dangerous silverwares back to his wife nor cares about her in words. Instead, his superficiality fills his mind: he tried to be considerate again by rushing for the cotton to stop the blood professionally. Without tenderly caring her wound, he instead squeezes it to make it bleed a...
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...t be trusted anymore.
Furthermore, the author reveals the husband’s insecure in the darkness by the word “stranger” as a strong foreshadowing about the future of this unfortunate couple: a potential break of the marriage due to superficial relationship, and, more importantly, insufficiency of their mutual love. Even though he knows that the “stranger” is his wife, he still feels that she moves as if a “stranger” in the house – like “the way it had on their first night together”(4). He has no deep understanding of Ann and the shallowness persists to the night depicted in the story. Ultimately, the writer subtly convinces the readers about the termination of their relationship without explicitly saying that they broke up but implicitly states the separation of two hearts by writing how they feel psychologically by their subconscious yet definitive actions and thoughts.
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