One theme of "A Pair of Silk Stockings" is that it is good to take care of oneself and treat oneself to a few luxuries now and then—and that it doesn't take all that much to feel good. Mrs. Sommers pays no terrible price and suffers no retribution when she takes a tiny bit of windfall she has come into and buys herself silk stockings, good shoes, a pair of gloves, magazines, a meal out at a nice restaurant, and a ticket to a play. In every way, she uncoils and enjoys herself. As she takes the trolley home, she thinks,
It was like a dream ended.
She wishes the trolley ride could go on forever. However, what is notable is that a fairly modest day out satisfies her as much as if she had become a princess.
A second theme is that it is hard for a woman to practice self care. When Mrs. Sommers comes into her money, the first people she thinks of are her children: she will buy Janie better shoes, make them all clothes of new material, and purchase sailor hats for them so that they can look...
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