Rationalization Of Charles Relationship

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By rationalizing Charles’s sexual behavior with a teenage girl Cindy, Grace Paley raises the issue of underage sex and virginity. Charles is a thirty-seven year old man whose job is repairing air conditioner whereas Cindy is a teenage girl who is just in her junior year in high school. When they first meet at Cindy’s father attic, they are speaking flirtatious language to each other. The attic is also where they have their first sex. When Charles first meet Cindy, he is full of excitement and seen her as “shiney daughter of cash in the bank.” (Paley, 67) It is clear that Charles has the intention to want something from Cindy through his behavior and speaking. In both moral and law, it is not right to have sexeual behavior with a girl that …show more content…
When Charles first sees the opportunity to have further relationship with the young girl, he starts to ask himself “did I, as God’s creature under the stars, have the right to evade an event ,a factual occurrence, to parry and experience or even a small peradventure?” He tries to give himself excuses from the name of God to rationalize his immoral action. Although he knows himself what he does can be wrong, he still finds a way to comfort himself and move forward to achieve his intention. After Cindy has described her conversation with her dad to Charles, Charles then comforts himself that “I had decided my fate was written. O.K., O.K., OK., I said to the world and, staring inward.” (Paley, 75) He rationalizes what he has done to Cindy and her family is already decided by fate and he has nothing to do with it. At the end of the story when Charles is being asked whether he loves Cindy before or after the event, he says “I am in the hand of God.” (Paley, 76) It shows again that Charles is using God and fate as excuses to rationalize his behavior and evade possible burden he has to face. Charles has been using god as his backup to support what he has done. The used of God and fate emphasize the immoral behavior Charles has done because he does not need to use God or fate to rationalize his behavior if what he does has nothing to do with …show more content…
Despite the age difference between Cindy and Charles, to have sex with a teenage girl that is just sixteen year-old and take away her virginity is a big issue for Cindy’s parents. Pre-marital sex is still not widely accepted in the society back then. This is the reason why Cindy’s parents are forcing the marriage between Charles and Cindy. If Charles does not take responsibility for what he does, Cindy might have to live with bad reputation through her whole life. The appearance of Cindy’s parents reveals the conservativeness of the society which virginity should be giving to husband or wife. Age difference is also another issue that is not widely accepted “I don’t want you to go around with a man like that - old enough to be your father almost” (Paley, 72) as Cindy’s father claims. The different perspectives of Cindy’s parents to Charles raise how society can be judging woman regarding to sex, age and marriage. The placement of Cindy’s parents in the story help to make discussion and comparison of the social cultural difference between now and then regarding sex, virginity, and marriage. `

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