In "Why Don't We Dance?" by Raymond Carver, What was the significance of the girl's repetition of "desperate or something"?

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Ah, good question. First and most simply, it shows the limited nature of her mental world. She has only a few categories for things, and she isn't particularly articulate about them. Second, it may indicate the intensity of her impression. (People comment more on something that makes a big impact on them.) Third, though, look at when she says it the last time. It is after she's pulled him close. This indicates she feels something new—either affection for him, or loneliness, or both, as if she were "desperate or something" herself.