The Girls in There Summer Dresses by Irwin Shaw

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“The Girls in There Summer Dresses” by Irwin Shaw Irwin Shaw is an American playwright, screenwriter and novelist, born in New York. His works often contain socially relevant themes focused on modern life. Mainly Irwin Shaw is highly regarded as a short story author. His best stories are collected in Short Stories: Five Decades, printed in 1978. Three of his stories (“The Girls in There Summer Dresses”, “The Monument”, and “The Man Who Married a French Wife”) are frequently dramatized on the stage of American theatres. During his lifetime Shaw wan a number of awards, including two O. Henry awards, a National Institute of Arts and Letters grant. “The Girls in There Summer Dresses” is a short story. It represents the mixture of two types of the story as social one and psychological as well. This brief story has a closed plot structure where the author describes a married couple who attempts to have a pleasant Sunday afternoon until the conversation keeps turning to the husband’s habit of looking at other women. A “happy married man” named Michael always watches and discusses pretty women that he passes in the street. Michael reveals to his wife, Frances, that not only does he like looking at pretty women, moreover he sometimes feels that he “would like to be free” and it is likely that someday he is “going to make a move”. Both characters can be considered as antagonists. Frances’s attitude shows that she is a passive personage who is lack of ideas to confront the relationship with her husband. In Michael’s turn the situation suits him. It is clear that there exist the personal differences between the spouses. The details of the story lead to a conclusion that for Michael the relationship is just a mere convenience or an affection solely generated by his physical wanting of Frances, with the same way he looks and appreciates the girls of New York. Yet Frances
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