Is Mutual Recognition Achieved in “Secret Woman”

In the short story “Secret Woman” by Sidonie Gabrielle Collete is about how a Husband finds out that his wife is not as perfect as he originally perceived her as. Throughout the story, the husband viewed his wife as perfect and innocent up until he caught her at a sexual mascarade party interacting with different people. He never thought that she would come to the party since she wrote off the invite but, in return caused the husband to walk away from her without her noticing his presence in the party.

To me, the idea of the husband walking away shows that he has come to terms with her not being whom she portrayed her self as throughout the story. the husband found mutual recognition since he realized that she was not the “almond” like women that he used to love but the very complex women with “Satanic hands” that he witnessed in the mascarade party. This shows that the wife is much more than just a stereotypical woman but a more free person and that when she is around her husband she has a mask on to hide her differences and characteristics that he is uncomfortable with.

I also feel that mutual recognition is found when the husband begins to follow his wife around the party waiting to see what man she came to the party to see and finds that she is alone but still with everyone physically. He finds that his wife is capable of doing things on her own without a dominating figure above her head controlling her every move.

Therefore the husband had no choice but to respect and understand that his wife was no longer under his control and that she was able to do whatever she felt she needed at that moment. It also made the husband realize that even he was living a lie for lying to his wife but lying to himself that his wife was perfect.

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