• Madison White

A Story a Day #28: Sally Benson

March 5th, 2020

"The Overcoat"

Sally Benson

A woman, presumably in New York, is out for tea with friends and decides to come home. She realizes she only has 87 cents in her purse which is exacly enough for the ride. She is uneasy that she won't have any money left. On the subway home, she notices a man near her whose overcoat is a bit shabby and contemplates her own life. She feels lucky that her husband seems well off and gives her money when she asks. When she gets home, she is annoyed because of the subway and having to ask for money. She asks her husband for an allowance instead and he contemplates it and says he can likely make it happen. As she exits the room, she notices his overcoat slung over a chair and that it is just as shabby as the man's on the subway.

This is a very short story that is filled to the brim with judgement, desire, and selfishness. This woman very clearly notices the things she is lacking because of the friends she has. It is obvious by her social habits that she has quite a high standard of living though she thinks it is not enough. She becomes enraged by how little she perceives herself to have but even so, pities others who seem to have less. By the end, she realizes the reality of her situation and that she is not as high class as she thinks she is.

I always find internal monologue stories very interesting because it limits our perceptions to those of one character. Readers can obviously see what this woman values and what she notices which seem to often be outward appearances. We also get to see her realize in real time the things she has previously been unaware of. Because of her hasty judgements, it seems pretty fair that she would end up in the same situation as the one she was recently judging so harshly.

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© 2018 Madison White Writes

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