Whoever Was Using this Bed Team Door
Theme/Plot • Theme : • Importance of accepting decisions regarding life and death • The exasperating effects of an open communication • Plot • Iris and Jack are a married couple who are awakened early in the morning by a woman asking for Bud. This reminds Jack of earlier when his ex wife and children used to call. They then stay up all night talking about things they wouldn’t ever talk about, such as what they would want the other to do if they had to pull the plug. This further causes them to stay up all night talking and smoking cigarettes, even though Jack is keeping track of time and wishes to go to sleep. Iris then mentions her dream to Jack, which he feels indifferent to, until she mentions herself dancing with her ex. The roles then switch as when they go to work Jack can’t stop thinking about the topic regarding pulling the plug, he then goes home and tells her his decision. The women calls again at the end, and he becomes very irritated.
Important events • At the very end “The line goes dead, and I can’t hear anything” depicting Iris pulling the plug on the phone. This lady has been constantly calling throughout the story, and making the characters aware of certain issues. At her last call, Iris illustrates how she wants her husband to pull the plug on her, by pulling the cord. • After the couple leave the bed all day, the tend to do things in a more hurried fashion. They are hyper-aware of their actions, and how they could die at any minute. After being lethargic and not trying to do anything about changing themselves in the past, they are scared and hurried to things with their lives.
Two Quotes: • “Good,” she says. But neither of us make a move.” (p. 435) • “But while I’m trying to tell all this woman, while I’m trying to make myself understood, my wife moves quickly and bends over, and that’s it.” (p. 443)
Characterization • Husband(Jack) • The story is through the perspective of the husband, suggesting that Jack represents the thoughts of the author himself. The characterization of jack is used to glorify the role of men in a relationship, having to endure great frustration (which seems to develop as the story progresses) while holding it in in order to talk to his wife. Jack is initially seen as a simple working man who is primarily concerned with the time of night and how much sleep he is getting. The three concerns of jack become apparent through his thoughts and concerns for his wife, first with his curiosity of his wife's dreams, then his true love for her is shown as he tries to reassure her that he cares for her health and wants her to be happy, which causes him to completely sacrifice his sleep. The extent of the stress and frustration Jack feels is eventually shown when he yells at the woman who interrupted their sleep and his hands begin to shake. Because the story was written for the author's wife, it can be inferred that it is meant to show what he feels that he has gone through to ensure his wife's happiness. • "I don't say anything right away. What am I supposed to say? "
Characterization (continued) • Iris • Through Jacks’ description of her, Iris is seen as very lively and seems to be very expressive with her emotions. Her vivid dreams show her liveliness, which contrasts her husband's dreamless sleeping, although her thrashing and teeth grinding in her sleep show that they both share similar frustrations, which causes them both to worry and smoke. The characterization of Iris through Jack's thoughts is used by the author to show his attention to detail of his wife's actions, even when bothered by his lack of sleep, and his concern for the stresses of his own wife, which he puts past his own in order to ensure the happiness of his wife.
Setting • Bed • Intimacy, inner connection. • Topics that have never been touched before. • Ex. Symptoms • Use the blanket for not only a physical cover, but also emotional protection. • Time of Day • Also adds the idea of late nights being the time where people open up more about their issues, that they would try to avoid during the day. • With the bed it helps create the setting of a very intimate moment for the couple in where they are able to have that connection that they may not have felt before. • “I'm on my back, studying the ceiling, thinking that this is the kind of talk that could only take place atfive in the morning .”
Figurative Language Metaphors • Smoking: • This is used as a habitual vice for stress relief that they admit will kill them, which Iris resorts to countless times through the night, but Jack does not use it as much. The manner with they both relieve themselves of their stress different greatly, Jack sets aside his frustration until it all is vented in one act of anger, yelling at the woman on the phone, and Iris talks and smokes continuously. The act of smoking, the effect it has on them, and the smoke that builds up in the air represent the difficulty they both have while communicating about a serious subject, trusting their fates to each other. • The Phone Call • his represents the addition stress and nervousness that continues to plage the couple. The phone call causes them to be on edge and angers them, yet they choose to answer the phone. This shows how they've allowed themselves to be susceptible to frustration, instead of unplugging the phone in advance, which Iris eventually does out of frustration. This same manner of allowing themselves to be open to frustration is displayed in their communication, hesitating and holding back information, which only leads to additional stress and concern.
Figurative Language (continued) • Unplugging • The argument they have when deciding their fates represents a question of trust and faith Iris poses for Jack, which he responds to with great hesitation. Although Jack responds with hesitation, he does so out of respect for his wife, and to aviod future punishment for not answering thoughtfully. The author uses this to further prove himself to be a thoughtful and truly caring husband to his own wife, even if when his immediate actions did not seem to show this.
Imagery • Messed up sheets-illustrate the messed up lives of the couple. They are hiding under the sheets while talking about death, yet beds are supposed to be safe. • Phone calls at midnight-Way to make them wake up to the world, and reality that they might die one day and what would happen. 3am gives them the perfect time for odd talks and discussions.