Study Guide

Here We Are Tone

By Dorothy Parker

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Light-Hearted… but with a Little Bite

In "Here We Are" Dorothy Parker isn't out to chop anyone's head off or unveil the inner workings of the cosmos: she's poking fun at human foibles and finding the comedy inherent in any failure to communicate.

The story basks in the humor of seeing people engage in totally dumb arguments in order to avoid the things they're really thinking about. Instead of openly addressing her anxiety over consummating the marriage, the wife castigates her husband for not liking her hat:

"Oh, really?" she said. "Well, that's nice. That's lovely. The first thing you say to me, as soon as you get me off on a train away from my family and everything, is that you don't like my hat. The first thing you say to your wife is you think she has terrible taste in hats. That's nice, isn't it?" (49)

But the story has bite to it as well. "Here We Are" poses serious questions about marriage and relationships—particularly, "How do you know you're with the right person?" Obviously, this couple hasn't actually answered that question, and the story plays with their confusion in order to win snickers.

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