Morley Callaghan

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What is the theme of "The Blue Kimono" by Morley Callaghan?

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The theme of Morley Callaghan's "The Blue Kimono" is the ravages of time and how a diminished present affects the future.

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In Morley Callaghan's short story "The Blue Kimono," George and Marthe are worried when their two-year-old son, Walter, is afflicted with a mysterious ailment. Marthe insists that Walter has infantile paralysis. George concurs with her opinion after reading the medical column in the paper.

However, the couple's concern for Walter's condition is eclipsed by a greater one. George, in particular, is obsessed with the idea of a nebulous force working against their prosperity in life. In fact, he insists that they've been unlucky ever since their move to the big city.

In despair, George concludes that his little family will starve before he succeeds in finding a job. Oblivious to the visible terror on Marthe's face, George is relentless in his insistence that they should never have come to the city.

As he speaks out bitterly, George notices the blue kimono Marthe is wearing. He remembers that he gave the elegant piece to Marthe at the time of their wedding. Then, the shimmering kimono with clusters of flowers sewn into the silk, was magnificent in its beauty.

At present, the kimono is torn and frayed at the edges. Pieces of old padding hang precariously off the hem of the gown. As George notices the condition of the kimono, it brings fresh grief to him. What Marthe is wearing represents the ravages of time and how a diminished present augurs poorly for the future.

To George, the kimono that once represented the bright dreams and aspirations he had at the beginning of their marriage now shows no indication of its illustrious past. Instead, torn and frayed at the edges, the kimono has come to symbolize the loss of hope and an uncertain future.

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