A Pair of Silk Stockings

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A Pair of Silk Stockings by Mind Map: A Pair of Silk Stockings

1. POV: 3rd Person

1.1. Limited Omniscient: Mrs.Sommers

1.1.1. "It seemed to her a very large amount of money, and the way in which it stuffed and bulged her worn old porte-monnaie gave her a feeling of importance such as she had not enjoyed for years."

1.2. Dramatic

1.2.1. "She sat herself upon a revolving stool before a counter that was comparatively deserted..."

1.3. Stream of Consciousness

1.3.1. "But that day she was a little faint and tired. She had swallowed a light luncheon--no! when she came to think of it, between getting the children fed and the place righted, and preparing herself for the shopping bout, she had actually forgotten to eat any luncheon at all!"

2. Themes

2.1. Identity

2.1.1. The real name of Mrs Sommer is never mentioned. She only says that Mrs Sommer has been her name ever since she married Mr Sommer. This shows how the identity of her as a woman has been suppressed since she married. In the story, she starts to show her true identity, instead of a carrying mother and wife, she showed that she really is a strong individual woman that will put herself before anyone else. "The neighbors sometimes talked of certain "better days" that little Mrs. Sommers had known before she had ever thought of being Mrs. Sommers." "A dollar and ninety-eight cents," she mused aloud. "Well, I'll take this pair." She handed the girl a five-dollar bill and waited for her change and for her parcel."

2.2. Freedom

2.2.1. The idea that all woman should be equal to man was not as common during the 19th and early 20th centuary as it is today. The fact that Mrs Sommer is limited to buy thing for the wellbeing of her family and not on her personal necessities is a clear example of such reasoning. Society expected woman to give up their freedom and yield to the will of men, this was the only way that a woman could be happy, by following the strict social norms impose to them. However, Mrs Sommers rebells herself against the sexist society she forms part of and pursuits her own happpines using her freedom. This is seen in the story when she starts buying items that would make her as an individual happy, instead of her family. "There was still money in her purse, and her next temptation presented itself in the shape of a matinee poster." "But the impulse that was guiding her would not suffer her to entertain any such thought."

2.3. Repression

2.3.1. Throughout the story we are told about the repression Mrs Sommer has to endure. The narrator tells us that her surname is not actually hers, instead is the surname of her husband. Her old self has been erased the moment she married Mr Sommer. As a mother, she has the duty of putting the raising of her children above everything, meaning that as a individual woman Ms Sommer does not exist, in replacement, a hard working mother and husband subject of the authoritarian orders her husband and society give to her. "A dollar or two should be added to the price usually paid for Janie's shoes, which would insure their lasting an appreciable time longer than they usually did. She would buy so and so many yards of percale for new shirt waists for the boys and Janie and Mag." "It was a long time since Mrs. Sommers had been fitted with gloves."

3. Characters: Mrs Sommer, Mag, Janie, the boys, Mr Sommer, the neighbors.

3.1. Mrs Sommer: Mother, married with Mr Sommer, poor only has 15 dollars in her pocket.

3.2. Mag: Daughter of Mrs Sommer, needs a gown

3.3. Janie: Daughter of Mrs Sommer, needs a new pair of shoes

3.4. The boys: It is never mentioned the name of the boys or how many sons Mrs Sommer has.

3.5. The neighbors: Are mentioned by Mrs Sommer, represent what society thinks about her and her family.

3.6. Mr Sommers: Never mentioned directly, however it is him who orders Mrs Sommers to buy goods for the kids. Represents the sexism and opression woman had to endure throughout the 19th centuary.

4. Symbols

4.1. The pair of silk stockings represents beauty and glamour that Mrs. Sommers wants, it represents her regaining her feminine and sexual side. It is her way to regain self-assurance and become more fitting with the rest. It is also represented as an evil temptation, since it is described as a snake-like figure, relating to the snake in the story of creation in the bible.

4.1.1. "...and to feel them glide serpent-like through her fingers."

4.1.2. "By degrees she grew aware that her hand had encountered something very soothing, very pleasant to touch. She looked down to see that her hand lay upon a pile of silk stockings."

4.1.3. "Two hectic blotches came suddenly into her pale cheeks."

4.2. The fifteen dollars represent wealth and commodity. They take Mrs. Sommers back, at least briefly, to how she was before and to a moment of joy. It gives her a sense of power and status, and is something she takes great care of.

4.2.1. "It seemed to her a very large amount of money, and the way in which it stuffed and bulged her worn old porte-monnaie gave her a feeling of importance such as she had not enjoyed for years."

4.3. The cable car represents Mrs. Sommer's dream ending and returning her to the reality and the present moment. She desires it to never end and to stay in this dream forever, but the cable car will come to an end.

4.3.1. "It puzzled him to decipher what he saw there. In truth, he saw nothing-unless he were wizard enough to detect a poignant wish, a powerful longing that the cable car would never stop anywhere, but go on and on with her forever."

5. Shift

5.1. The moment Mrs Sommer sees the silk stockings, she changes. Her priorities completely change, instead of satisfying the needs of her family she wants to satisfy herself. Free from the opression of being a mother and wife, being able to do whatever she wants. The shift begins when she buys the silk stockings for a dollar and ninetey eight cents. Although she does not spend that much money at first, she quickly becomes tempted into buying more and more things for herself, such as magazines, lunch and gloves.

5.1.1. "She was not going through any acute mental process or reasoning with herself, nor was she striving to explain to her satisfaction the motive of her action. She was not thinking at all. She seemed for the time to be taking a rest from that laborious and fatiguing function and to have abandoned herself to some mechanical impulse that directed her actions and freed her of responsibility."

6. Pace

6.1. The narration of the story is always slow-paced and almost dreamy in a sense. It reflects Mrs. Sommer's dreamy feelings throughout in her glamorous moment, and is seems to elongate the time she spends in this dream.

6.1.1. "How good was the touch of the raw silk to her flesh! She felt like lying back in the cushioned chair and reveling for a while in the luxury of it. She did for a little while. Then she replaced her shoes, rolled the cotton stockings together and thrust them into her bag. After doing this she crossed straight over to the shoe department and took her seat to be fitted."