Used-boy Raiser by Grace Paley
Used-boy Raisers is one of the short stories from Grace Paley’s In The Little Disturbances of Man,(1959). Generally the entire book, and specifically the short story Used- boy Raisers is about relationships; the associations involving women and men are chaotic, baffling, and habitually amazing. In a book review in Chicago Tribune, Carolyn Alessio says:
Paley’s short stories focus on politics and social responsibility but rarely devolve into polemics because her sense of dialogue and narrative is so natural and conscientious. Her witty, economical prose often leaves a reader with the feeling that there’s a hidden appendix, transcripts of long, dynamic discussions with neighbors, relatives and fellow activists.
Paley makes no assessment about her protagonists; she basically induces readers to study them. With dry, crafty absurdity and intense look into the way individuals actually live, opposed to how they believe they live. The story asks rarely expected, particularly provocative questions about relationships.
The relator of the story is Faith, who has been married two times and has two young sons by her first husband. The husbands are friendly with each other and in the story have been calling on Faith and her sons. They are “used-boy raisers” in the same way that some men are used-car drivers. They do not mistreat the boys in the usual manner but they definitely use as if they owned them. The actual father has deserted them to the mother at the same time asserting some rights, like persisting on their being well educated.
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