Hi, I Have to this response paper for a story that we read on class... the teachers asked us to answer this question: Discuss the relationship between Heartman and Toni in Agnon's "Metamorphosis." Follow the pattern of smoking (where does it start? How is it developed? Where does it end?). What does this pattern mean regarding Heartman's character? Does it delineate a possible change in his character and in his attitude to Toni? Please note that the Hebrew title of the story is "Another Face" (meaning, among other things, that during their afternoon and evening walk, the protagonist sees his wife in a new light).
Mainly I want to know if my essay answers the question and if I have any grammatical errors thanks!
In the story Metamorphosis by S.Y. Agnon, Hartman and Toni are a couple, who have just gotten a divorce. From what the story says, we can assume that Toni is a very desirable woman, who has many suitors. "Svirsh and Dr. Tenzer waiting for her, two bachelors who had been friendly with her since the first year of her marriage." (pg.111) And that Hatman is very confused and kind of hurt by the divorce and this can be seeing when he emerged from the rabbi's house with" his forehead furrowed" (pg.112) and asked Toni, who was with Svirsh and Tenzer, if she was going with them. After he asks her not to go with them, Toni and Hartman went together. As they went together, he was nervous and still confused, he didn't know what to say or how to act " after every two or three words he waved his hand despairingly at the things that were coming into his mouth..."
As the story develops we can see how the characters unveiled. We learned that Hartman did not talked to much to his wife and least of business. But now as they were walking after their divorce, he opened himself to her, he talked to her about his business problems and she saw them as the cause of his bad moods " Toni listened attentively to all he said and realize that his angry moods had been due entirely to his business worries" (pg. 116) This being the cause of their divorce. Agnon narrates how their relationship went from one point to the other, " At first when their love was still strong, he would fob Toni off with a kiss when she asked him to tell her what was worrying him. At a later stage, he would change the subject. Later still, he would scold her: "Isn't it bad enough that I have worries outside? Do you have to drag them into the house? When a man's at home he wants to take his mind off business worries." (pg.117). Letting us know, that even when Hartman did not talk to much with his wife, he was still patient and kind with his wife, which with time this changed.
The smoking of one of the main characters Hartman, is very important in the story, it reflects the character evolution. At first when he started to smoke he did it in moderation, then he was smoking continuously, until it got to a point in which the whole house was filled with the smoke of tobacco (pg.118). Just like with the cigarette, he treated his wife, at the begging he would stop her from talking with a kiss, then he would change the subject, and at the end he would just loose his patience with her. Meaning that with both the cigarette and his wife, he started as one person and evolution into another person. He went from being passive and moderated to being impatient and a cigarette dependent.
But as the story goes on, we see yet another transformation in Hartman, he goes from being this impatient and addict person, into a more open and patient person with no needs for smoking. "He took outs his cigarette and was about to light it; but the scent of the fields took away his desire to smoke" (pg. 119). I think that this change means that he is ready to give it another try to their relationship. But also in the other hand, I think that he may think he may be ready to give their relationship another try, but that in reality he is not. I see him as I see addicted people, with the willingness to change sometimes because of something that has happen, in his case the divorce and the realization that his ex-wife has many suitors, but not strong enough to do it. I think that he, like an addict would relapse in his vice, he would have marital troubles with her again if they get back together. I believe he is just passing through this face in which he can not just yet realize that he got a divorce, but that when this happen, he is not going to be as hurt as now. I think Hartman is just going through a temporary metamorphosis, because of the big change that his life went through, the divorce just made him a little bit vulnerable at the time.
The focus of the essay is supposed to be the smoking, but you do not mention this theme until your third paragraph. I suspect that your teacher would like to see an introduction that includes your thesis about the smoking. You probably could do with less plot synopsis. In terms of grammar, watch out for a tendency to insert commas where they are not needed. Remember, a comma signals a pause. Read your sentences aloud, pausing at every comma, and perhaps you will be able to detect the unnecessary ones.