Summary of A Telephone Call by Dorothy Parker

Inside a quiet apartment, a woman awaits a telephone call. The expected call is from a man she has recently had sex with. The action of the story entirely takes place inside the woman’s head. Readers basically understand the woman’s situation. Her feelings are obvious from the first sentence ‘Please God, let him telephone me now.’ Then there is nothing but the inner ranting and raving, the circular thinking and illogical jumps and the desperate prayers of a woman who has lost her power. The story’s humour is built on the constant use of repetition, fast pacing, rhetorical leaps from one line to the other and the contrast of pathetic hopes and brave insights juxtaposed on each other. The premise of the entire story rests on – man pays attention to woman, man and woman have sex, man goes away, woman becomes anxious and the story ends with more desperate prayers of a woman who has lost her power and experiences anxiety, sadness, joy, expectation, obsession, pride, hate and so on.

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