Why Henry, why? A blog in response to question #2

     The story Created He Them by Alice Eleanor Jones, has a looming “that’s just the way it is” theme.  The world as we know it, is no more.  The world of this time was described as a  “desolate, dying, bombed-out world” (Jones 75), full of wastelands and irregular seasons and even more irregular treatment of children.  It seems as though the poor had been reduced to two categories; breeders and non-breeders.  The breeders were given the daunting task of repopulating the world, without the priviledge of enjoying their children or even watching them grow.

     Would the story be told any different from Henry’s point of view?  Absolutely!  His existence is one devoid  human attachment or even compassion.  His role in the family structure does not compel him to interact with his children or even respect his wife.  Therefore, his understanding of his wife’s emotional outburst in response to the thought of rearing another child only to give it away after three years, is nonexistent.  This society was constructed such that Henry’s only concerns are to work and impregnate Ann.

     One might argue that he has simply accepted the way things are.  If this is in fact Henry’s reasoning for his behavior, it would be pointless to bond with his children and painful to consider the concerns of his wife.  While others may suggest that he is just an a– hole.  Where do you stand?  Is Henry simply a product of his environment, who has accepted “the way things are”?  Or is he an a– hole? 

     I suppose if one considers all of the issues beyond the control of the members of this society, there may be some justification for Henry’s inconsiderate behavior.  Yet all issues considered, I find no explanation for the ungrateful and disrespectful  manner in which he addresses Ann.  despite their social obligations there is no excuse for his cruelty.  Despite their inability to change the social atmosphere and the inevitable rites of passage of every healthy three year old child, Henry had the ablity to change the atmosphere in his home and chose not to.  He disregarded the severe emotional trauma his wife and children endured and only  considered the trivial issues that plagued him throughout each day. 

     So to answer the question, yes.  Had the story been written from Henry’s perspective it would have been drastically different.  It would have omitted the serious woes of his wife and society as a whole and discussed the temperature of his coffee and breakfast.

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2 Comments on “Why Henry, why? A blog in response to question #2”

  1. knightwillow Says:

    I agree with you that Henry’s point of view would be drastically different, but at the same time I think he is a product of his environment. By telling the story through the woman’s point of view we are allowed to see the crumbling of society and of the family structure. Men have been stunted by their inability to protect their families or change the situation. Individuals cannot chose their own lives if they want the human race to survive. Out of context Henry is an A-hole, but he is just lashing out at a situation he cannot change. When you think of the blow to his masculinity you would be shocked if his behavior wasn’t bad.

    • loved82press Says:

      I agree with you that Henry is a product of his environment however, I do not agree that he had no control. You say “Men have been stunted by their inability to protect their families or change the situation”, but he could have consoled his wife as opposed to degrading her. She was a product of the same environment but still had the capacity to show affection to her children. Had she treated the children the way Henry treated her because she was a “product of her environment”, would you feel the same?

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