The American humorist, James Thurber, was born in 1894 and grew up in Columbus, Ohio, in a rather eccentric family. He worked for various newspapers in Columbus, Paris and New York before finally joining The New Yorker, for which he produced most of his essays, short stories and drawings.
Thurber's work has been described as a mixture of craziness, fantasy and irony. He is a sharp social commentator with a strong moral concern. His style is. elegant and genteel. Many of his essays and stories deal with the triumph of moral values in the world of mass media, psycho-analysis and sexual revolution.
Charlie Deshler was an ________________, self-assured man before he married Dorothy. Since her childhood Dorothy has been a _______________ who cannot help correcting and instructing other people. As she is quite good-looking, men have always found her ___________________. Yet, although she stirs them up emotionally, mentally she completely wears them down because of her habit of constantly ____________________ them.
Despite his friends' warnings Charlie Deshler marries Dorothy. At first he succeeds quite well in ____________________________ himself from her constant interference. Having travelled widely he can talk about things and places she is not __________________ with.
However, as Dorothy gradually becomes familiar with her husband's stories it is possible for her to revert to her old habit of ______________________ and correcting.
In vain Charlie seeks refuge in his dreams. They are the only stories he can tell without fear of interruption because only he can know about them. Gradually they become the only life he has that he can call his own. Finally Charlie has to be taken to a mental ______________. Yet even there he is not safe from his wife. When the narrator goes to visit him she is sitting by his bedside, as bright and ___________________ as ever. When Charlie starts to tell his one remaining story she interrupts with, "No. You pulled over to a cloud. There aren't any curbs in the sky." The inevitable has happened: the dream has been repeated so often that Dorothy knows it by heart and feels completely _____________________ to add her own corrections.
The Development of the Story Why did Charlie actually break down?
Was it because of the personality clashbetween him and his wife? Or was it simply Charlie's own fault for not being able to control her?
Do you know anyone who behaves like Dorothy?
Write down your reactions to the story, giving reasons.