Study Guide

Martin in Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Other Stories

Advertisement - Guide continues below


Hardworking, long-suffering Martin seems fed up when we meet him in "A Domestic Dilemma." He's been dealing with his wife's alcoholism for a while. As a result, he's become neurotic, figuring out which bus will get him home soonest, and tricks to keep his kids from knowing about their mother's problem.

As caring as Martin seems, he also seems to have decided that his family is at a breaking point, and that it's up to him to make sure his children stay safe. His fears certainly aren't unfounded. ("The baby had been dropped, her frail, frail skull striking the table edge, so that a thread of blood was soaking into the gossamer hair." [Domestic.37]) It's clear here that he thinks of his wife's alcoholism as a threat, rather than a sickness.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...