Summary (Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition)
As the evening darkens one winter night, the maid tells Felicia that once again her mother will not be coming home to their apartment until after Felicia is asleep. Felicia’s father is away in the war. As usual, a baby-sitter will come when it is time for the maid to leave. The maid defends the mother’s absence on the grounds that, after working hard all day, she deserves her freedom at night. The maids and the baby-sitters change frequently, allowing no time for Felicia to become attached to any of them. They do their jobs, providing no emotional nourishment for the little girl.
This night, the baby-sitter is early. She is a dark-haired, sad-eyed woman who immediately shows an interest in Felicia. Unlike the other sitters, this one offers to clean up after the girl’s dinner so she can be alone with her sooner. Whereas other sitters perfunctorily take care of Felicia, moving through a routine that gets her to bed as soon as possible, as if she were merely something that has to be disposed of, this sitter breaks the routine. She tells Felicia that she reminds her of another little girl whose birthday this happens to be. Always attentive to Felicia, the sitter talks to her about the other little girl. Felicia, in her innocence, is never aware, but the reader quickly realizes that the woman is talking about her experiences in a German concentration camp. Felicia interprets everything she hears according to her own experience, reflecting her own...
(The entire section is 370 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Winter Night Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!