The narrator of this great, dark little story does not give readers much direct characterization of Patrick. We are told things that he does, but we aren't necessarily told much about him specifically. We are directly told many more details about Mary. We are even told what kind of shine...
The narrator of this great, dark little story does not give readers much direct characterization of Patrick. We are told things that he does, but we aren't necessarily told much about him specifically. We are directly told many more details about Mary. We are even told what kind of shine her skin has. Readers have to infer just about everything concerning Patrick, and we have to do it through the "rose tinted" glasses through which Mary views her husband. One characteristic I can think of is that he is fairly regular or habitual. The text seems to indicate that he comes home like clockwork every day and has an alcoholic drink while sitting in his chair. If he wasn't consistent like this, then Mary wouldn't be ready and waiting with everything. Sitting silently in the same room with him is her favorite part of the day, and that seems to indicate that this is a fairly regular occurrence.
She took his coat and hung it in the closer. Then she walked over and made the drinks, a strongish one for him, a weak one for herself; and soon she was back again in her chair with the sewing, and he in the other, opposite, holding the tall glass with both hands, rocking it so the ice cubes tinkled against the side.
For her, this was always a blissful time of day.
I've heard some readers accuse Patrick of being an alcoholic, because he has a drink every day or that he needs a second one to talk to Mary about something serious; however, I don't buy that characterization of Patrick. We are told that his quick downing of the first drink and pouring of a second is out of character for him. This would further indicate that Patrick is a predictable and regimented individual. What I also do see about his personality is that he is direct and doesn't shy away from confrontation. He does have to have a little bit of extra liquid courage, but he still has the conversation with his wife. He has found himself in a situation that he isn't happy with, and he's willing to do something about it. I think he's in the wrong for blindsiding Mary like he does, but it shows a sort of bravery in him.