Study Guide

Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Other Stories Competition

Advertisement - Guide continues below


Miss Amelia, as has been mentioned, measured six feet two inches in height. Marvin Macy was one inch shorter. In weight they were about even—both of them weighing close to a hundred and sixty pounds. (Ballad.196)

Who says a tall woman won't date a man who's shorter than her?

[...] it was not only her talent as a boxer that had impressed everyone—she could demoralize her enemy by making terrifying faces and fierce noises, so that even the spectators were sometimes cowed. (Ballad.196)

They say you've got to win the hearts and minds of a people in order to win the fight. Guess Miss Amelia's got different ideas.

And the climax each evening was the time when Miss Amelia and Marvin Macy doubled their fists, squared up, and glared at each other. (Ballad.204)

It's not surprising that word traveled fast and people came from all over to see the fight: they'd been waiting for it for months.

So the fight went on in this wild violent way with no sign of weakening on either side. (Ballad.212)

The word "wild" here brings to mind animals that fight on instinct, not reason.

Marvin Macy was greased and slippery, tricky to grasp, but she was stronger. (Ballad.214)

Though no one in the story says so, it seems like Mr. Macy greasing up his body might be just another trademark cheater move. They say there's nothing harder to catch than a greased pig.

So many times she wished she had not been born and brought up in just Cincinnati. How do you say cheese in German? Mister Bilderbach, what is Dutch for I don't understand you? (Wunderkind.34)

Frances seems to be blaming her less-ness on the Midwest. Fair? Circle yes or no... and we'll know whether you're from one of the coasts.

Then she turned—stood placid—while he folded his arms about her and buried his sharp face in the white, nerveless flesh of her neck. (Wunderkind.40)

Mister Bilderbach teaches young musical talents, while soft, silent Mrs. Bilderbach — having given up her singing — is doomed to stir soup and sew dresses, 4VR.

Heime was a Wunderkind. He and she, then. (Wunderkind.43)

The word "wunderkind" has an almost insane power over Frances. Is she one? Was she one? Is Heime one? Can they both be one? #obsessed

What had begun to happen to her four months ago? The notes began springing out with a glib, dead intonation. Adolescence, she thought. (Wunderkind.71)

Frances knows becoming a woman won't help her piano playing. Now she'll never be better than Heime. But why?

"What's the matter with you? Standing there like a barber pole. Is anything wrong with you?" (Domestic.20)

Drunken Emily believes the best defense is a good offense.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...