Conflicts In Sheila Kohler's Short Stories

In most relationships, the lack of genuine communication and alienation of the partner lead to conflicts, which can eventually bring regretful consequences such as divorce and even murder. In both stories, “Paper Losses” by Lorrie Moore “Baboons” by Sheila Kohler, the relationships of the two couples fall apart, either by a divorce or a murder attempt. The

In both stories, the wives fail to communicate with their husbands and isolate themselves. They both avoid the obvious issues that dwell in their respective Sheila Kohler, the relationships of the two couples fall apart, either by a divorce or a murder attempt.relationships and eventually face irrevocable consequences. In Moore’s story, Kit avoids a straightforward conversation with
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In Moore’s story, Kit realizes that she had been fatally attracted to Jan. Kit loved how Rafe took off his clothes spontaneously before they got married. However, after the marriage she states “it [is] not good trying to stay married to one.”(584) Kit refers the nudist side of him as a “space-alien habit.” (585) She even goes further and blames his parents for raising him the way she hates and eventually this change in her love towards Rafe alienates herself from him. This ironical change of her mind brings changes into her attitudes. She starts to see her husband as a sociopathic man who is from another world and alienates him from her. In Kohler’s story, the quality of Jan that drew Kate into love eventually contributes to the breakdown of their relationship. Before the marriage Kate had loved the fact that Jan that “Jan was studying to be a surgeon” (474) and saves lives. However, she “[complains] about Jan’s tardy arrival” (478) after an exhausting and stressful day at work. Although Jan’s way of expressing unpleasantness and stress goes far beyond extreme, the inconsiderateness of Kate causes Jan to outrage She does not realize the fact that he is the same handsome man who she fell in love before marriage who saves people’s …show more content…
In Kohler’s story, Jan confesses one of his shocking indiscretions with his male coworker, Serge. Although Jan had mentioned about seducing a male teacher when he was young, Kate “had never given it much importance.” (477) When Jan needed understanding and attention, she had not only assumed that it was a story that he made up but also “ignored something so basic about him.” (478) While, Jan had alluded his homosexuality to be honest with her, Kate decides to ignore the possibility of him being bisexual. In the same way, in Moore’s story, Kit ignores an important sign of their relationship falling apart and waits until the divorce comes through mail to realize that their prolonged broken marriage has come to an end. When Rafe “had removed his ring,” Kit assumed that the physical features of the ring bothered him. (584) Although she was implicitly warned, Kit comforts herself by believing that all men acts like Rafe. Kit had lost her chance to talk to Rafe and resolve the cold tension between them because of her ignorance when Rafe implicitly signaled her that he was falling out of love. The removal of the ring had meant more that removing an accessory from his finger but removal of his affection towards his wife. One might argue that the husbands’ insensitiveness had caused the conflicts in their relationships, but in Kohler’s story, Jan had

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