from the short story
The Other Two
The other two is a story about a woman that has been married and divorced by two men and she just got married to the third husband. The woman, Alice, has a daughter that she had when she was married to her first husband (Wharton 11). The daughter’s father insists to see the daughter even when she is sick and he actually moved to New York in order to get closer to his daughter. The second husband, Varick, is a successful businessman and has some kind of friendship with Waythorn, who is the current husband. The order of events in the story is comical in a way and Waythorn believes that marrying Alice is some sort of Business.
In the story, Waythorn believed that he was a part of a syndicate and he owned a third of her wife since the other two thirds were owned by the first and the second husbands. He also believes he was in some kind of business partnership with those that had married her before him. That is not fair to his wife. That is because it portrays her to be an object that is passed from one person to another. He also tries to imply that she still has some connections with her first and second husband and that is why Waythorn is not as happy as he expected to be. That also implies that her former husbands had made her experienced in a way and that implies that the former husbands had made her better for him. He believes that each of the husbands has a share in her and that is very wrong. That is because Alice had agreed to marry him and that means that she did not have anything to do with her former husbands. Therefore Waythorn was not sharing her with any of the other men that she had been married to earlier and it was very offensive for him to say that each of them had shares. However, she had made him feel that way since he had lied about seeing Haskell on the first day of the visit while they had even spoken. She also did not have an excuse for talking to Varick and that made Waythorn a bit insecure about his wife. The statement is also not fair to the daughter. That is because it degrades her mother and that is very wrong since she has a very tight connection with her mother and she would not like to hear her mother being referred to in such a manner. The daughter also had to be raised by three different fathers because of her mother’s divorces. Maybe that affected her in a way thus making the statement unfair for her. The statement is also very unfair to the former husbands of Mrs. Waythorn. When each of them was marrying her, they had thought that the marriage would work out and it would last as well. However, things did not turn out the way they all expected and they had divorced. Alice and the husbands were to blame for the divorce thus it was not right for Waythorn to think of the husbands like that. The husbands were already divorced to her thus they did not have any shares in her. They had let her choose the man that she wanted and that means that they did not want to have her back thus they were not sharing her with him. He had the whole of her but he tried to blame the former husbands as having shares in her as well.
The Other Two is a story that is comic in a way. For example, Waythorn is married to Alice yet he is not comfortable since he believes that she has some connections with her former husbands. He is affected mostly by the thought of the first husband. At some point, he wonders if Varick often had worries regarding Haskell when he had married to Alice (Wharton & R.W.B 36). That is funny since Waythorn should also be worrying about Varick since he was once the husband to his wife. He believes that the first husband is the problem and he even feels bad about seeing him.
Another funny part in the story is when all the three husbands are smoking together in the library. They all know that they have been married to the same woman and who cannot even imagine the talk that they were having when talking together. It becomes funnier when Alice walks in and she is very surprised to see the three husbands. She even asks the other two husbands how they have been and the four of them start laughing. In most cases, it is hard for the current husband to have a good talk with the former husband. However, the situation was a bit funny since there were three husbands and they were comfortable smoking together and they did not change even when Alice walked in.
Wharton, Edith, and R. W. B. Lewis. The Collected Short Stories of Edith Wharton. New York: Scribner, 1968. Print.
Wharton, Edith. The Other Two. Charlottesville, Va.: U of Virginia Library, 1995. Print.
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