RE: RARA-AVIS: short and happy

From: Robison Michael R CNIN (
Date: 11 Apr 2002

i asked:
> so did the bitch wife kill francis on purpose
> or was it an accident? hmm... ?

then george said: I've been wondering the same thing since my 10th grade English teacher asked the class that very question. I personally like to think of it as an accident. But any reading I give it comes out sounding misogynist, and I don't think the author so intended, so I don't talk about it much.

That, of course, is what makes this story great--the not knowing.


the reason i asked is because i recently read some commentary that said it was perfectly reasonable to think it was an accident. now this is a pretty bold thing to say, considering that for years the critics have taken it for granted that it was murder. i think the great white hunter (sorry, i can't remem- ber his name) thinks she did it on purpose. or at least dialogue points in that direction.

it reminds me of another, less subtle, story with an unknown outcome, o'henry's "lady and the tiger". i had an old lady english teacher in high school that would laugh and say there was no question about that ending either. according to her there was no way the girl was going to give up her boyfriend to some hot babe. it was the tiger. hmm... pretty darned cynical. so much for "hope springs eternal." haha. that teacher was mrs. offuit. god, she was bold. she had to teach the bible, and i remember reading job and she asked us what we thought of job's deal at the end. "would you be happy if god killed your spouse but gave you another one in the end?" i hope i remember the story correctly and haven't made a fool of myself (again).


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