Laurie Colwin

Start Free Trial

Can you analyze the characters Lucy and Carl in Laurie Colwin's "Wet"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Laurie Colwin's story “Wet,” Lucy and Carl have been married for several years, and they have a good relationship, but Carl suddenly begins to feel rather odd about Lucy's habit of swimming.

Lucy is a natural born swimmer. She has been swimming since early childhood, and it is as natural to her as breathing. She has the endurance and strength to swim for miles and hours even in cold water. Her husband marvels that a woman who looks so fragile is actually so strong. Lucy swims nearly every day when she and Carl live in Cambridge and then in Chicago. She never mentions her swimming habits to her husband. They are just part of her life, and she takes them for granted, assuming that Carl will know that she swims. She is not deceptive or trying to hide anything, for she truly loves her husband. Swimming is just life for her.

Carl, however, is rather startled to find out from a friend that Lucy has been swimming every day even in the middle of a Chicago winter. He feels rather upset that Lucy hasn't told him about it. This is a part of her life that he doesn't share, and that bothers him. He seems to be rather jealous of Lucy's swimming, yet another part of him knows that such a feeling is ridiculous. Lucy is not trying to deceive him, and he knows that. Carl does not confront his wife or cause an argument or even tension between them. He merely wants to be closer to her because he loves her, and he wants to be part of her life in all ways. So he asks if he can go swimming with her and enjoys their swim immensely. Later he finds out that Lucy has already been swimming in Lake Michigan. Again, he feels rather jealous and concerned, yet he conquers those feelings by making plans for them to swim together when it gets warmer. Carl is the kind of husband who values his wife and wants to understand her and be as close to her as possible.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial