In class we're doing "Should Wizard Hit Mommy?" by John Updike. A part of the last paragraph is a little bit unclear to me:
“The poor kid,” he answered, and with utter weariness watched his wife labour. The woodwork, a cage of moldings and rails and baseboards all around them, was half old tan and half new ivory, and he felt caught in an ugly middle position, and though he as well felt his wife’s presence in the cage with him, he did not want to speak with her, work with her, touch her, anything.
I have a few questions on this paragraph, related to the bits I've emboldened:
- Why did Jack (the father here) feel that he was in an "Ugly Middle Position"?
- Why did Jack not want to talk/touch/work with his wife?
I feel I've only read this story as a task, just like a Dad tells his daughter a story -> Roger is Bullied -> Magic Changes him -> Mom Disapproves -> Moral is to respect yourself and stay true to your identity -> End. And I feel that this last paragraph seems to hit something that I don't think I understand.