Porter, “He”

Mrs. Whipple and her nameless son, referred to only as “He” and “Him,” emphasizing his paradoxical nature at the center of his mother’s life and at the margins of it: she loves him and endangers him, she dotes on him and blames him, she is most of all concerned with how the family looks in other people’s eyes, and how his simple-mindedness is affecting her family’s standing. I don’t know what it is about Porter stories that don’t grab me by the throat, or by any other parts. Her stories so far have been a struggle to read, like poorly written legal briefs even though there’s nothing wrong with Porter’s style.

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