Birthday party by Katharine Brush
They were a couple in their late thirties, and they looked unmistakably married. They sat on the banquette opposite us in a little narrow restaurant, having dinner. The man had a round, self-satisfied face, with glasses on it; the woman was fadingly pretty, in a big hat. There was nothing conspicuous about them, nothing particularly noticeable, until the end of their meal, when it suddenly became obvious that this was an occasion—in fact, the husband’s birthday. And the wife had planned a little surprise for him.
It arrived, in the form of a small but glossy birthday cake, with one pink candle burning in the center. The headwaiter brought it in and placed it before the husband, and meanwhile the violin-and-piano orchestra played “Happy Birthday to You” and the wife beamed with shy pride over her little surprise, and such few people as there were in the restaurant tried to help out with a pattering of applause. It became clear at once that help was needed, because the husband was not pleased. Instead he was hotly embarrassed, and indignant at his wife for embarrassing him.
You looked at him and you saw this and you thought, “Oh, now don’t be like that! ” But he was like that, and as soon as the little cake had been deposited on the table, and the orchestra had finished the birthday piece, and the general attention had shifted from the man and the woman, I saw him say something to her under his breath—some punishing thing, quick and curt and unkind. I couldn’t bear to look at the woman then, so I stared at my plate and waited for quite a long time. Not long enough, though. She was still crying when I finally glanced over there again.
Crying quietly and heartbrokenly and hopelessly, all to herself, under the gay big brim of her best hat. Purpose of the story is that Appreciation is the best reward of the hard work in close relations. In story the woman wants to surprise his husband on his birthday, for that purpose she arranged cake for him and also she dressed a big hat which shows her happiness on that occasion. But at last the husband shows a rude behave. Literary devices used by Narrator: Devices used by narrator to show efforts did by wife to surprise. 1. Glossy birthday cake 2. One pink candle
3. Served by headwaiter 4. Music of violin-and-piano The women walk with a huge hat to show excitement on her husband’s birthday. Hot behave of husband to show that he is now happy with his wife excitement. Opposite to narrator ( not included in answer) . The women walks in with a huge hat [looking for attention] and grabs a seat. The man is want a simple birthday party with dinner only. The waiters come out with a huge PINK cake. It sounds like the women is doing much for her husband, and is excited. He says something short yet hurtful and she bursts out in tears.
Attention here once again. It was a pink cake and the man wasn’t looking for to much attention, and narrator seems to direct all the attention on the cake purchased by wife. Therefore when reading it, you may think at first, how rude of the man. But analysis shows that hey, it wasn’t really all his fault, the women was trying to make a scene. But we can’t see this because of the narrator is watching from a far and doesn’t show the thoughts and emotions. Reference: 1. www. sccollege. edu/projects/433/Birthday%20Party%20K. %20Brush. doc