Themes and Meanings

(Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

One of the central themes in “Big Blonde” is the futility of alcohol to fill an empty mind and heart. When Mrs. Morse cannot cope with disappointments, she has no remedy but drink and finds that ultimately it is no panacea. She also illustrates the old cliche about “laughing on the outside.” While clinging desperately to her reputation as “a good sport” and struggling to laugh the easy laugh that attracts men, Mrs. Morse succumbs often to copious crying and soon loses her appeal. Closely related to her alcoholism and her oscillations between fun and melancholy is the theme of marriage. To endure, marriage requires a modicum of love and mature understanding. Mrs. Morse lacks these assets; her marriages are superficial or short-lived. This lack of love serves to intensify the emptiness of her relations with people and her failure to find true satisfaction in life.


(Short Stories for Students)

The title of the story identifies Mrs. Morse in terms of her physical appearance and highlights the significance of this...

(The entire section is 791 words.)