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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The basic premise of "How Beautiful with Shoes" is that it is a coming of age story.  It's not a coming of age story in terms of physically going from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood.  Instead it is a coming of age story about Mare's awakening to a world of knowledge.  The knowledge that she gains is that there is more to life and marriage than simply being a good farmer's wife.  There is more to it than simply bearing children for the next generation.  There is more to it than essentially being the property of a husband.  Unfortunately Mare learns all of this through the harrowing experience of being kidnapped by a murderer.  The murderer, Humble Jewett, attempts to woo and enlighten Mare by speaking to her through the words of some of the greatest love poetry ever written.  Mare is eventually rescued, but she has forever been transformed and enlightened into a world of romantic imagination, and she realizes with sadness the life that she is heading into is one of stagnation and boredom.