Why Do These Men Do the Things That They Do?
Course: English 102
Instructor: Ms. Amy Acosta
Essay Type: Short Story Analysis
In a world labeled with "dos" and "don'ts,” many people think society will accept anything morally wrong as long as society does not know about the sin at face value. If people do not realize what is going on, how can they accept or reject it? Many also have a tendency to stereotype people for what they see and not for what they do. Further, they may either ignore the truth or refuse to come to terms with the reality of a situation. These sentiments are reflected in "No One's a Mystery" by Elizabeth Tallent and "Can-Can" by Arturo Vivante—both essays dealing with men having affairs. The husbands in the stories are looking for something other than what they receive from their wives; they seek to hide their infidelities from their spouses, yet they feel no guilt over their actions. In both stories, the thought of breaking up their marriage for their mistress is not even an option. Their affairs dangle in mid-air, suspended, as if time has stopped. They are treated merely as loose interactions with other humans rather than adulterous acts negating their commitments to their mates. In both "No One's a Mystery" and "Can-Can,” the mistresses of the husbands seem to be jealous and even resentful of their lovers' wives, though it is more pronounced in the second case. In "No One's a Mystery,” the narrator loves her married lover in an unrealistic, immature manner that could be attributed to the inexperience of her eighteen years. She even mentions idealistic dreams of marrying him and bearing his children. She states in her diary, "In a year I'll write 'Jack should be home any minute now. The table's set-my grandmother's linen and her old silver and the yellow candles left over from the wedding—but I don't know if I can wait until . Can-Can by Arturo Vivante
Point of view: The story is narrated by third person because...
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