Bridal Suite

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Short stories often have a motto or carry the opinion of the writer on certain issues, as is the case in "Bridal Suite" written by "Fredric Raphael" the writer is trying to project his opinion about getting married after having an affair.

The story begins with a newly wed couple going on the honeymoon; the couple have been having an affair for 4 years and have decided to get married. The bride has given up one marriage for this one and the groom has given up his freedom, as a bachelor. Both characters are uncertain about what they have done, wondering if it was the right thing to do. Not wanting to admit this uncertainty to each other or them selves they create a vicious circle where they battel internal conflicting emotions. The lack of communicating these emotions affects both characters in different ways; the bride takes a defensive stand, trying to gain the grooms protection, never really resolving her uncertainty.

The groom takes a more individual stand wishing to be alone with his thoughts, hating her in a way for tying him down to the relationship, he resolves his uncertainty in a violent way, knowing that she seeks his protection and taking delight in her fear.

One way the writer conveys the message of uncertainty, violence and internal conflict is through the use of language this particular example focuses primarily on uncertainty; "´I sure hope we did the right thing´ he said, when Central American Airlines called the flight. ´Getting married? ´ She said ´not much we can do about it now. We already ate the cake´" this whole sentence emits an uncertain felling, the connotation of hope is uncertain, it is a word that is commonly used when something hangs in the balance, it is also mostly used in positive sentences having a positive feel to it, but in this case the writer has given it a negative twist due the fact that they are questioning there marriage, something that should be questioned before hand and not after. If we were to take hope out of the first line it would make it a fact instead of a question. If we consider the second line of the sentence "´getting married she said not much we can do about it now w have already ate the cake´" this part of the sentence gives the impression of someone tied down to something they do not want to do, ie in this case the groom. By using the metaphor "we already ate the cake" the writer reinforces the image of getting tied down.

The second technique that the writer used to position the readers thoughts towards the attitudes, uncertainty, violence, and internal conflict is by using selection of detail the following example highlights this "he had always thought her face unique for its wide blue eyes and its white incisive teeth above that neat narrow jaw" this sentence is a great selection of detail it gives the key features of the brides face but leaves enough out for the reader to conjure his own image of her, by using such words as "wide, blue, white, incisive, neat and narrow the writer reinforces these key aspects of her face. This sentence also tells the reader in a very subtle way that once the groom did love his mistress, thus adding to the internal conflict; the two contending emotions are that; he loves her beauty, but hates her for tying him down to the infernal relationship.

The third technique that the writer used subtly to convey the message of violence was the setting, this is evident in the following example; "she looked down then with appalled condescension at the bloody scene below them. In the distance, as she glanced away she could see the trickling raw redness of a volcano like a picked scab against the far sky" this whole sentence suggests violence, the reader has an image of war and chaos, words such as bloody, trickling raw redness and like a picked scab all reinforce this idea to the reader because theses words are very intense, all being used commonly used in a negative context.

After reading the two short stories "bridal suite" and "altar of the family" I find that they are two very depressing stories, highlighting the aspects of relationships that we would prefer not to know about or experience. I also feel that if someone was to read them in a superficial way they would not be able to see any relationship between the two at all, because one is about getting married after having an affair and the other is about a very conservative home and a strict up bringing of a child, but if the reader pays some attention to detail they will notice the more subtle similarities for example, the characters in both stories have a dominant figure, in bridal suite it is the groom and in altar of the family it is the father and like wise there is also a submissive character in both stories, the bride and the child. Those are the most predominant similarities between the two stories.