Monday, March 3, 2014
Top Shelf Short Stories: The Miniature Wife
The Miniature Wife
by Manuel Gonzales
How had I not heard about this short story collection before? Seriously, this author writes awesomely and I am so glad that I heard about the collection from my favorite podcase, Books on the Nightstand.
This story, which also serves as the title of the collection, is truly one of a kind. It's about a man, the narrator, who "accidentally" shrinks his wife to miniature size. At first, he tries to protect her by taking away their pets, a bird and a cat, since they could kill her. Then he begins to build her a dollhouse that is a replica of their home. Just when he starts to contemplate making himself miniature in order to live with her some days a week, he finds her with an employee (soon, ex-employee, eesh) of his who shrunk himself in order to have an affair with her. And that's not even the worse of it yet!
It may seem that I'm giving away too much - but so much of the story lies in what is said between the lines! I believe that this story shows the manipulation and repression that some males bestow among women. First of all, how does the narrator "accidentally" shrink his wife when his experiments and all that take place at work and in a safe area? Second, instead of focusing all his attention on un-shrinking her, he spends it building her a replica-home dollhouse. Then he talks about being proud of making her so small while still maintaining her beautiful physical features. He also talks about how useless she was before having to force her to defend herself against the "elements" such as house flies which really bother her.
Also - the narrator talks about shrinking himself for a few days a week then going back to full size in order to buy groceries and whatnot - um, hello? That means he knows how to un-shrink her! It was so infuriating to read! But that's what made it so good - it made me feel something.
Read it. Read it now and then tell me about all the other stuff I didn't mention or didn't catch. What are your theories? This is the kind of writing that makes me want to analyze and that means it's good.