What is Mrs. Sommers feeling when she departs on the streetcar in "A Pair of Silk Stockings"?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After having given herself a pleasurable hiatus from her domestic deprivations, as Mrs. Sommers rides the cable car home, she feels a poignant yearning for the continuation of the pleasurable suspension from her hard reality.

Prior to her shopping trip, Mrs. Sommers has conditioned herself to be frugal and concerned with her motherly obligations. But, when she sits on a revolving stool at a counter because she feels faint from not having eaten lunch, Mrs. Sommers's hand brushes against a pair of "very soothing, very pleasant to the touch" silk stockings that are reduced in price. She cannot resist buying them. Further, the feel of luxury on her legs after she changes from her cotton stockings into the new silk ones ignites a desire in Mrs. Sommers to treat herself to more luxuries with the money which she has unexpectedly obtained. In short, she lives a day like that of a lady of luxury.

At the end of the pleasurable respite from her domestic duties, Mrs. Sommers feels enjoyment in her escape from enforced frugality so much that she feels "a poignant wish" that the cable car would continue on with her and never stop. 

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A Pair of Silk Stockings

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