Essay on IND AFF or Out of Love in Sarajevo by Fay Weldon

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"IND AFF or Out of Love in Sarajevo" by Fay Weldon

In “IND AFF, or Out of Love in Sarajevo,” Fay Weldon uses the setting of her story to teach a young woman a lesson in morality, and about life and love. This unnamed young woman narrates the story from the first person point of view, giving the reader a private glimpse into her inner struggle. The young woman is the protagonist in the story, and is a dynamic character; learning and growing in the few pages Weldon gives the reader a chance to get acquainted with her. Setting the story in Sarajevo allows Weldon to use historical events to teach the young woman about life. The largest role that setting plays in “IND AFF” is the historical event, which took place in this small town
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This woman is pondering acting against morals for the love of a man. She even hesitates to call it true love, and admits that the reason for the trip is to make sure “that it was the Real Thing, because the longer the indecision went on the longer Mrs. Piper would be left dangling in uncertainty and distress” (147).

Weldon uses rain to bring Mrs. Piper into the story, though she is not present in Sarajevo. The young woman notes that every sidewalk is sheltered by “a shield of bobbing umbrellas…to keep the rain off the streets. It just hadn’t worked around Princip’s corner…it wasn’t that Peter and myself were being singled out. No. It was raining on his wife, too, back in Cambridge” (147). Using the rain pouring down upon the main characters while the townsfolk remain sheltered, Weldon shows how exposed the two lovers are, and how Mrs. Piper, too, is affected by their actions. The young woman cannot forget her, as she cannot forget the Archduke’s wife. The young woman never names the Archduke’s wife in her narrative, preferring to leave her a nameless but unforgettable figure in the shooting. “Don’t forget his wife: everyone forgets his wife, the archduchess” (146). The young woman has the opportunity to “unhinge a marriage” (150), just as the assassin was faced with the choice to propel the world into war. Both choices will ultimately destroy an innocent woman.

Peter tells his young lover, as if to allay her fears

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