Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 482
It was 1935, and Iris was nineteen. Her father’s business was in shambles. The factory was burnt, and the insurance company was reluctant to pay for repairs. Iris’s father stayed home more often and drank. When he was not at home, he was traveling to Toronto on business, he told her. She suspected he was meeting with Richard Griffen. On some occasions, her father took Iris with him.
The family no longer could afford a chauffeur, and Reenie had volunteered to cut her hours of employment at the home. She stated health reasons, but Iris suspected that Reenie knew they could no longer afford her. Iris and her father took the train to Toronto and stayed in a hotel for which Iris decided Richard must have been paying. On one particular trip, her father told her that Richard was going to ask her to marry him. Her father explained that he had already given his consent, but the decision was up to her. Then he told her that if she married Richard, she would be assuring a better future for herself and Laura. She also would be saving the factory. It would be a shame if the button factory never opened again after all the hard work her grandfather had put into it.
Iris barely knew Richard or what she wanted in a marriage. She had never thought about it. She merely went along with her father’s wishes, accepted Richard’s proposal, and prepared herself for her meeting with Richard’s sister.
Winifred Griffen Prior was a very well-dressed woman, but she did not have the social graces Iris thought she should have. For instance, on the day Iris went to a restaurant to meet her, she found Winifred looking into the small mirror of her compact at the table in front of all the other clients....
(The entire section contains 482 words.)
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