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Quotes

Quote #1

We can see that she was a pretty girl, even exceptionally so, but now it is apparent that life has been little that she expected, and disappointment has already begun to hang in her face. (1.1.stage directions)

Ruth has grown accustomed to being dissatisfied with her life to the point where it's evident even in her face.

Quote #2

WALTER
Just for a second – stirring them eggs. Just for a second it was – you looked real young again. (He reaches for her; she crosses away. Then, drily) It’s gone now – you look like yourself again! (1.1.20)

Ruth is already crabby when Walter says that she looks prematurely old. Although Walter attempts to compliment his wife, her move away from him suggests that she is disinterested, which leaves Walter unsatisfied. The couple's dissatisfaction with life in general is turning into dissatisfaction with one another.

Quote #3

RUTH
What is there to be pleasant ‘bout! (1.1.66)

Ruth is vocal about her dissatisfaction. She's so bummed out about the hardships of her life that she finds it hard to cheerful about anything.

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