Themes and message

Dysfunctional relationships

The short story “Hope” by Jonathan Santlofer presents the theme of dysfunctional relationships.

The title leads us to expect an uplifting story. However, the story is dark and bleak. The relationship between Artie and Hope begins to worsen immediately after Hope’s abortion. The ending offers no hope that their relationship will ever improve. Even though Artie and Hope end up married five years later, they have communication problems, and they still avoid discussing the abortion.

As Hope suffers from the after-effects of the traumatic experience, Artie is unable to comfort her. Their lack of connection is first suggested by their body language: “In the back seat of the car Artie and Hope hold hands but look in opposite directions” (l. 114). Them holding hands shows they are in this together but looking in opposite direc...

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