Analytical Essay on The Wife’s Story Katrina Prologo South University Analytical Essay on The Wife’s Story In The Wife’s Story the author, Ursula K. Le Guin, uses literary elements to give readers a different outlook on love in a non-traditional story. Within this story the main character, the wife, goes through an emotional roller coaster as she battles the challenges that have crossed her path. A Wife’s Story is a captivating story about love that entices the reader through point of view, dialogue and imagery.
Le Guin has made this first person story unique in her own way. The wife is recalling the events in her point of view from memory, and through her memory the audience receives a different take on the timeless tale of a werewolf romance, only this time the romance is from the other side, the wolf side. The wife is a wolf, while the husband is a werewolf, however this point is not connected until later in the story when the wife describes the changing she sees before her eyes.
The wife does describe a point where she is unable to fully go after her husband, “I was last, because love still bound the anger and the fear in me… I went up close because I thought if the thing was dead the spell, the curse must be done, and my husband could come back—alive, or even dead, if I could only see him, my true love, in his true form, beautiful” (Le Guin, pg. 31, 2013) The wife’s point of view here is sharing her feelings as she sees him killed as a man.
She is overwrought with emotion wanting to see him in his wolf form once more, not wanting this event to be true. Her point of view is used throughout this story to provide the emotions that she is feeling during this time before she finds out about his true nature as well, “-scolding, but keeping her right up close to me at the same time, because I was frightened too. Frightened to shaking” (Le Guin, pg. 31, 2013). Here she is confused and not able to understand why her child is afraid of him.
She is being pulled between the love of her child and the love of her husband. With the story being in the wife’s point of view the reader is able to see what she has seen, feel what she is feeling, and understand her thoughts as she goes through this emotional time in her life. The dialogue in this story is scarce but enough to share how other characters are feeling in this story. The husband for example is moody and acted as if he was hiding something, “It made my hair stand up on end. I could not endure it and I said, “What is that—those smells on you?
All over you! ” And he said, “I don’t know,” real short, and made like he was sleeping” (Le Guin, pg. 30, 2013). This statement here is the only one made by the husband, but with his short response and being so evasive the reader can assume that he is hiding something from his wife. This dialogue can be used as evidence that the wife’s emotions towards her husband are something to be concerned about and that she is not just being paranoid. This raises alarms for the reader to anticipate something will happen between the wife and husband.
Another piece of dialogue is when the youngest child speaks to the mother, “He come in and she got scared-looking, stiff, with her eyes wide, and then she begun to cry and try to hide behind me. She didn’t yet talk plain but she was saying over and over, “Make it go away! Make it go away! ”” (Le Guin, pg. 31, 2013) This shows that the wife is not the only one noticing something is wrong with the husband, as the child can sense it as well. This acts as another reason for the wife to worry and be concerned for husband as she discovers what his secret is. The imagery is what helps the reader imagine this all.
The wife uses strong details when describing what is happening to her husband and how she handles it. When the wife discovers what he is she describes him in a way that this is where the reader discovers the secret as well, “And he turned his face. It was changing while I looked. It got flatter and flatter, the mouth flat and wide, and the teeth grinning flat and dull, and the nose just a knob of flesh with nostril holes, and the ears gone, and the eyes gone blue—blue, with white rims around the blue—staring at me out of that flat, soft, white face” (Le Guin, pg. 1, 2013) This is where Le Guin has made the twist to the story, describing the change from a different perspective. This example of imagery lets the reader know which side the story is being told from. The second major piece of imagery is when the wife is protecting her children, “But it picked up a heavy fallen tree-branch in its long white foot, and shoved the end of that down into our house, at me. I snapped the end of it in my teeth and started to force my way out, because I knew the man would kill our children if it could” (Le Guin, pg. 1, 2013). This is where the author also gives away that the wife is a wolf, pulling the whole story together. Making sense of the emotional battle that the wife had to take to discover this about her husband. Le Guin used a fascinating take on the werewolf romance and provided an interesting story using point of view, dialogue, and imagery to tell the story of a wife going through an emotional battle of love between her husband and children.
She discovered a horrific truth and in the end had to choose between her husband and children. However in the end she still showed that she loved her husband even though he was not what he seemed to be. References Le Guin, U (2013). The Wife’s Story. In D. L. Pike and A. M. Acosta (Eds. ) Literature: A world of writing stories, poems, plays, and essays [VitalSource Digital Version] (pp. 30-31). Boston, MA: Pearson Learning Solutions.