Grace Paley's 'Inventive Goodbye And Good Luck'

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Grace Paley, generated significant attention when her work was first published. Paley’s innovative style which worked around political and social concerns for woman was something rare and unique at the time. In her work Paley advocated for woman in a different way than most people were used to. Her stories took traditional themes that we were used to and wrote these stories from the viewpoints of woman. Readers got a firsthand look at first love and heartbreaks, motherhood, and the men that were in these woman lives. Paley’s stories were heavily fragmented and open-ended, her structural innovations were able to make her work come to life because she didn’t relay heavily on creating plot or character development. Paley made these themes inventive…show more content…
Aunt Rose the main character begins the story saying, “I was popular in certain circles, says Aunt Rose. I wasn’t no thinner then, only more stationary in the flesh” (Paley, 3). Aunt Rose knows what her sister—Lillie’s “mama”—does not, and that is that time rushes by relentlessly. The older generation will be quickly forgotten, because the new generation surpasses it, and the forgotten will be mama’s domestic “spotless kitchen” life, has meant little to her or anyone else as her life slips away. This gave power to Aunt Rose because she chose to lead a life that she wanted a life that wasn’t like the previous generation. Aunt Rose states that her mother didn’t think that she lead a good life because has not married or led a virtuous life. When Rose moved out her mother wasn’t happy at the choices that she was making. “You! You, a nothing a rotten hole in a piece of cheese, are you telling me what if life?”(Paley, 6).Her mother wasn’t given the chance to choose the life of love, she had to choose the smart life, one that she knew would be beneficial to her. However because of the advancement of times, Rose had her own income and was able to choose whether she would marry or lead a more exciting life. The theme is clearly shown when Rose compares her life with her own mother’s. Her mother had scolded Anna when she chose to move in with Vlashkin, however her mother had “married who she didn’t like”, someone she simply married because it promised a safe content life. “He never washed. He had an unhappy smell he got smaller, shriveled up little by little, till goodbye and good luck.”(Paley, 6). Rosie however “decided to live for love.” No amount of respect, husband, advancement, or wealth will save one from the looming change that lies ahead. Aunt Rose would say live for love, and you will have the last

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