How would you explain the theme of "How I Met My Husband"?

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Several themes are present in the story. It develops an "initiation " theme in that Edie, as a fifteen-year-old, goes through an experience that leaves her more grown up and realistic. Through Edie's relationship with Chris Watters, she learns to take control of her own life and not place her happiness into someone else's hands, to be realized or not. Edie refuses to be a woman who waits for a man to rescue her and make her happy.

Another strong theme in the story is that of class distinction. The Pebbles family lives a life far more privileged than Edie's. Dr. Pebbles is a professional man, a veterinarian, whose income allows his family to live in comfort and style. Mrs. Pebbles wears beautiful clothes, and her housework is done by Edie, her hired girl. Desserts are purchased, not made "from scratch," and the family drinks ginger ale and fruit drinks instead of water. She does not drive her own car only because automobiles are in short supply right after World War II, the time of the story. She owns a washer and dryer. Edie's life on the farm was not one of privilege in any way, and the difference does not escape her. Edie wonders why poor people can imagine Mrs. Pebbles' lifestyle, but someone like Mrs. Pebbles could not imagine theirs. The theme of class distinction is further emphasized by the way in which Mrs. Pebbles treats Edie: She never lets Edie forget that she is hired help and not really like Mrs. Pebbles or her family.

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brandih | eNotes Employee

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