Sunday, June 11, 2006

Death Of An Interior Decorator (2003) – Death Cab For Cutie

Like The Story’s “The Angel In The House,” “Death Of An Interior Decorator,” rues the regrettable fate of a woman who accepts her traditional role as mother and domesticated wife at the expense of her own fulfillment. As her daughters left the nest, she lamented the toll her stint as baby-maker took on her beauty and vigor. While her husband pursued his own desires, she tried to improve herself through trivial means. Even the mishaps at her daughter’s wedding are a reflection of her own failure in life—a shattered marriage—and foreshadows her daughters’ destiny to follow in her footsteps. The title’s reference to “death” could be literal or figurative: as she wades into the ocean, the turmoil of the waves crashing upon her “felt just like falling in love again.” She drowns either in the grip of a riptide that pulls her under, or in the despair of her own self-pity. Either way, in empathizing with his protagonist, Ben Gibbard answers his own inquiry: “Can you tell me why you have been so sad?”

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