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Munro’s title is both accurate and misleading. Edie indeed tells the story of how she met her husband, but he is probably not the character the reader at first assumes she will marry. If the title is a trick, it is a brilliant and insightful one, because by assuming that Chris Watters will eventually marry Edie, the reader shares Edie’s own romantic illusions. We tend to give Watters the benefit of the doubt when, in retrospect, we see he was only a charming cad. Notice how Munro keeps other eligible males out of the first three quarters of the story.
We—like Edie—have nowhere to fasten our romantic assumptions except on this exotic pilot (exotic to Edie, that is: “I only knew he wasn’t from around here” is how she describes him from their initial meeting. That may not sound like much to us, but to a fifteenyear-old farm girl, her words connote a world of mystery). Munro’s teasing title, therefore, is a psychological ploy that makes readers identify more closely with the narrator’s emotions than they themselves initially realize. Munro’s story is a good example of how a work’s title is an essential part of the text and contributes to its suspense, and further meaning of the work as a whole.
Also, one may think the climax of the story occurs in the final paragraph when Edie starts dating Mr. Carmichael, the mailman. That moment may be the story’s unexpected conclusion, but the climax occurs a few paragraphs earlier, when the women in the story are having dinner and after Chris Watters has flown away. Trouble erupts when Edie admits to being “intimate” with the pilot. That uproarious scene is the moment of greatest tension, when the real outcome of the story is being decided. Edie’s public humiliation pushes her into maturity, and her fervent loyalty to her errant airman will prove sadly misplaced, even though she does not fully understand its effects for some time. Mrs. Peebles protects her from the worst of the gossip by getting rid of Alice Kelling and keeping Edie on as help, but the key events that will affect Edie’s future life have now been set in place. Here, the suspense is reinforced by the plot.
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