Sunday, July 25, 2010

An outline of the short story "TAKE PITY" by Maulamud

Take Pity is a pathetic account of a kind hearted man’s futile efforts to rescue a poor family from abject poverty and death. The man, Rosen, is a coffee salesman. The poor family is a widow, Eva, and her two daughters. Eva fails to make a living from her husband’s shop. She and her two daughters are starving. Rosen tries to help them in many ways. But Eva refuses to live on charity. Rosen asks her to marry him.
But she rejects the offer. Then he sends her some money. He sends the money through a friend who says it was repayment of a loan given by her husband. Eva refuses to take the money. She is determined to live an independent life. She is very willful. But Rosen knows that she will lose her foolish war against Fate. He becomes desperate. He tries to kill himself, leaving all his property to her. But he fails even in this last attempt. Eva is moved. She comes to him to accept his offer of marriage. But Rosen has had enough. He refuses to do anything for her, although it goes against his nature to reject a request. The story reveals some surprising secrets of human nature. It gives us a better understanding of human psychology and emotions. Rosen’s unusual softness is contrasted with Eva’s unusual stiffness. His frustration in his sincere attempts to help her out of her misery makes him desperate. It moves Eva at last, and she consents to marry him. But now it is too late. Rosen is no longer the generous self-sacrificing man he always had been. His character is changed. This change is more painful than Eva’s sufferings.

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