In Flannery O'Connor's short story Parker's Back, the reader is introduced to both Parker and his wife, Sarah Ruth, in the first sentences:
Parker’s wife was sitting on the front porch floor, snapping beans. Parker was sitting on the step, some distance away, watching her sullenly.
Given the physical and likely emotional distance between the couple, the reader might very well question why they married one another. Moreover, as Parker contemplates his wife, he thinks:
She was plain, plain. The skin on her face was thin and drawn as tight as the skin on an onion and her eyes were gray and sharp like the points of two icepicks.
However, the author explains why Parker married Sarah Ruth:
Parker understood why he had married her — he couldn’t have got her any other way — but he couldn’t understand why he stayed with her now. She was pregnant and pregnant women were not his favorite kind. Nevertheless, he stayed as if she had him conjured. He was puzzled and ashamed of himself.
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