The Fireman's Wife Questions and Answers
by Richard Bausch

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What is some literary criticism for The Fireman's Wife?

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The story has a brooding, cerebral mood. In fact, many of the dramatic conflicts in the story take place in the minds of the characters. From horrific and dark nightmares to the protagonist's inner conflict and indecision, the drama of human existence are playing out within the head. That is until bad dreams become reality, and unhappiness turns into newfound purpose in a crumbling marriage.

The story is essentially about dynamics and how we interact with each other. Because relations is a central theme in the story, the writer skillfully used dialogues to serve as the backbone of the narrative. That is because dialogues and even internal monologues are the bridges between people. What people say to each other is important and have lasting effects. For instance, the conversations between the close-knit friends, especially between the firemen, makes the protagonist feel like an outsider. On the other hand, the two wives have a private conversation that triggers buried emotions within the protagonist.

We again see the dialogue format used in when the protagonist converses with her co-worker and her friend from an earlier scene. The dialogue is employed near the end once the injured fireman, her husband, rests at home and realizes his wife was planning to leave him before his accident.

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