What are Delia's characteristics in "A Service Of Love"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In the story, Delia is loving, loyal, and caring. Delia marries Joe even though she knows that he is a struggling artist.

When they experience straitened circumstances, Delia takes a job at a laundry-shop. She doesn't complain but sets to work to earn enough for Joe's art lessons with Mr. Magister. Although Joe feels guilty that Delia is shouldering the financial load in their little family, he cheers up when he hears that Delia has found a paying piano student.

Delia tells Joe that her new student is a little girl named Clementina. Accordingly, she is the daughter of one General A. B. Pinkney, and the Pinkneys appear to be a wealthy family. Of course, none of what Delia tells Joe is true. She tells a white lie because she wants to spare Joe the humiliation of knowing that his wife is supporting him financially.

In the end, Joe discovers what Delia has really been doing when she accidentally injures her hand at the laundry-shop. Ironically, it is Joe who sends up the "cotton waste and oil from the engine–room...for a girl upstairs who had her hand burned with a smoothing–iron." So, in the story, Delia's loving and loyal nature is clearly demonstrated through her actions.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team