Style and Technique

(Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

Thompson tells the story of Annie and Scout in the third person, using the author omniscient point of view, making herself the observer of all that happens. Her mode of telling the story is direct and sequential except for two brief flashbacks to Chicago after the couple has arrived in Oregon.

Thompson uses these flashbacks to provide background details about Scout—he is of Polish descent, his father drove a bakery truck, and the family was not affluent—and to set the stage for Scout’s venture into the Pacific on the Lazy Day by including the scene at Belmont Harbor on Lake Michigan during which Scout expresses his disdain for any body of water short of an ocean.

As the story unfolds, one begins to glean the ways in which some men demean women. When her love for Scout blinds her, Annie is robbed of her self-respect. Scout calls Annie his cupcake but lacks any deep feeling for her. She is his woman, his bed partner, and always, in his eyes, his inferior. She plays up to his misconceptions, convincing herself that he is much smarter than he is. It is only when she calls him ignorant close to the end of the story that she frees herself from his clutches.