Why Don't You Dance?

by Raymond Carver
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How would you interpret the ending of "Why don't you dance"? "She kept talking. She told everyone. There was more to it and she was trying to get it talked out. After a time, she quit trying."

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The young man and young woman were glad to get a bargain on the furniture from the older man who put it out on his lawn. Their attitudes toward the experience were different, however. The young woman seemed to find humor and adventure in the experience, while her companion seemed self-conscious and uncertain. They were obviously at or near the beginning of living together and short on money: they are not just buying a used bed but trying to get it cheaper. The older man seems to be at the other extreme, discarding the material apparatus of his conjugal life.

Consistent with her attitude of the experience being a lark, the young woman enjoys telling people about it. She wants to overlook the implicit pathos of the man's situation but it intrudes in her mind: "There was more to it. . . . "

The last line seems to link her with the older man's missing partner and her own possible future path, when she too might stop trying.

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