My Side of the Matter

by Truman Capote

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How is Marge portrayed in "My Side of the Matter"?

In "My Side of the Matter," Marge is portrayed by her unreliable husband as having "no looks, no body, and no brains whatsoever." However, as his story emerges, it becomes clear that she is a more generous and stable person than her whacky husband.

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Marge's sixteen-year-old husband, hardly a reliable narrator, provides an unflattering description of his sixteen-year-old wife, saying she has "no looks, no body, and no brains whatsoever." He says his two biggest mistakes were, first, marrying her after only knowing her for four days and, second, getting her pregnant. He say the only reason he married her was her naturally blond hair.

But despite his criticism, his narration of events portrays her in a positive light. For example, though she is pregnant, she carries the bulk of their luggage seven miles from the train station to the house because the narrator insists he has "terrible trouble" with his back.

Marge also, at least at first, shows herself to be loyal to her husband. She defends him when her two eccentric aunts, Olivia-Ann and Eunice, criticize his appearance, saying she finds him attractive. She calls him the "best looking thing" and is unhappy when her aunt Olivia-Ann says he's "runt" and not "even of the male sex." Marge at that point reminds her that he is the father of her unborn child.

However, after the narrator is accused of stealing a hundred dollars, Marge at first defends her husband, then seems to waver, asking him to give it back. And when he whacks the Black maid, Bluebell, with Olivia-Ann's real Japanese parasol for saying he should be sent back to his "trash" relations in Mobile, Marge seems to believe he might be capable of murdering them all. When Eunice tells her to get down Papa's sword, Marge does so and gives it to her aunt. This leads the narrator to speak sarcastically about Marge's "wifely devotion," though we can hardly blame her for being frightened.

In this zany comedy piece, Marge comes off as a more giving and more stable person than her narrator husband.

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