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“How I Met My Husband” Narrative by Alice Munro


How I Met My Husband is a short story by Alice Munro published in her collection Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You in 1974. The short story was written to show various contemporary issues that happen in marriage, relationships, and common points of interaction such as work (Kumar 648). In the story, Munro has used various literary devices to show incidents when people fail to admit the bitter truth. Some of the main characters in the story include Edie, perceived to be expressing Munro’s narration. Other key characters include Dr. Peebles and their family, Chris Watters, Alice, and Lorretta Birds. This paper presents a critical analysis of the argument that Alice Munro’s How I Met My Husband is an exemplary narrative that enlightens the reader about contemporary life issues.

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Summary of the Story

Munro, in her Narrative, shows the reader about the basic life issues that happen to one as they grow. Edie, the main character, is seen working at Dr. Peebles’s place, which means Munro wants to communicate about employment and status in society. The story is written in the first person depicting that Munro tells the Narrative from her point of view, which signifies her ability to educate people on life occurrences based on realistic perspectives. On one of the occasions, Edie is chilling in the afternoon when she meets Chris Watters, a pilot who rides people with his plane at a fee. Being naive, Edie falls in love with Watters, but later on, she discovers that the man has an engagement with another woman known as Alice Keeling (A Study Guide for Alice Munro’s” How I Met My Husband” para 2). Keeling’s obsession with Chris shows how people get overwhelmed by their desires and love for people anyhow. Thus, from the incidents highlighted in the paragraph, it is clear that the audience can be able to see how life is comprised of contemporary issues that make people seek pleasure and desire to live.

To continue with her skill of showcasing regular life incidents, Munro highlights key events that human beings pass through as they live. One day, Peebles’s wife, together with his family and Alice, goes to have fun leaving Edie. Realizing that she has the opportunity to talk to Chris, she does not hesitate but rather goes to talk to him (Munro 138). At the same time, Chris has plans to leave the town but promises Edie to communicate with her while away. Thus, Munro shows how people lose opportunities due to unavoidable circumstances. Some people mistakenly reported to Alice that the two had intimacy (Kumar 648). Filled with rage, Alice condemns Edie until Mrs. Peebles protects her. Therefore, Alice Munro gives the reader get some basic concepts about social interaction and people’s views on relationships.

Author’s Details and Life

To show that the author had competency in presenting contemporary life issues, there is a need to mention various occasions that highlight her achievements in literary work. Alice Munro’s life influenced the way she narrated the story to the audience. First, she had witnessed the transformation of events since the time she was born. Thus, the analysis mentions some of her achievements and personal life as a writer. Munro’s knowledge of mass communication and literature from the University of Ontario contributes to her qualities of an exemplary writer. Therefore, her vast knowledge of English and literature made her efficacy in showing the basic lifestyle occasions such as the story of Edie.

Transformation during people’s lives is also evident in the story to show the stages that individuals experience. The author’s life was influenced by several factors, such as witnessing World War II. Thus, as it depicts change institutionalization in society during her time, the reader connects with the major events that were happening then. Munro’s work is sensitizing, and the strategy that she uses to capture the attention of readers is by use of forwarding and backward maneuver in time. Thus, her work focuses on exploring human anatomy in real-life situations (“Alice Munro” para 4). Thus, Munro’s role in enlightening the people on key life events made her win the Nobel Prize, proving she is competent in presenting human anatomy issues in her literary work.

The Time Period When the Story was Written

How I Met My Husband was published in 1974, during the contemporary literature period. Literature that was written in the latter period was shaped in many ways to depict the transition from monolithic to modern globalized perspective (“How I Met My Husband – Wikipedia” para 1). In the book, Munro shows the reality of modernism and the stream of what might happen if people continue advancing in the future. Alice Munro decided to write the short story adapting from a play at the Blyth Festival, which was part of a 1988 film by Ruth, Martha, and Edie narrative by Cynthia Flood and Betty Lambert (Kumar 648). Thus, Munro would answer inquiries on marriage fates, relationship struggles, and desires people experience hence giving possible insights on what people’s fate may look like.

How the Time Period Connects to the Story

In connection to the story, the time frame in which this Narrative was written has a close relationship. At the time Munro was writing the work, there was a transition from old-fashioned methodologies into current affairs (Munro 135). For instance, as the reader can see in the literature, people had started traveling by planes on domestic trips. Dr. Peebles had frequently hired the services of Chris, meaning that that time was characterized by efficacy in traveling and exploring the world (A Study Guide for Alice Munro’s” How I Met My Husband” para 2). To show that Munro is skilled in writing about contemporary issues, the short story has various parts that reflect on real-life incidents such as going out to have fun. A reader who goes through the paper will understand clearly since the context can be related to modernism. Thus, it is right to argue that Alice Munro is a talented writer who twists themes in her work to fit the contemporary issues in life.

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The Time Period that the Story Takes in

The setting of When I Met My Husband is relatively a few kilometers from an unidentified urban area that Munro does not disclose. However, the story revolves around the period of the second world war had taken place (Kumar 650). According to the literary critics, Alice Munro chose this time period as it was characterized by the delusion of major events, such as the authoritative agencies that have power over the people. Secondly, during World War II, people were blind to the truth about the need to embrace humanity and the development of major disciplines from a human perspective (“How I Met My Husband – Wikipedia” para 1). Therefore, it is just the same way Edie does not face the truth that winning Chris would be difficult when they are far from each other. Similarly, Alice was not holding the truth that she forced herself into Chris. Thus, the choice of the period after the world war shows the gradual transformation of events where people could travel, establish homes and build families while employing other people in the right way.

How it Connects to the Narrative

It is clear that after World War II, people started to live a peaceful life characterized by open practices of luxury, socioeconomic, and other values in society. For instance, setting the Narrative to depict personal mailings, boarding of planes, settlement in a private compound, and other factors shows that people had started to change their lifestyle after the end of the second world war (Kumar 647). To ensure that the argument is held on Munro’s capability in her work, reading the unique incidents enlightens the ready to contemplate how life started to transform after a long period of global conflict. Thus, the audience would appreciate the current environments in that people live without restrictions, displacements, and other wrangles (“How I Met My Husband – Wikipedia” para 1). Generally, the contemporary part of the Narrative based on the period that the story was set in is clear and opens the inner eye to the nature of the lifestyle the 20th-century people lived.


The story of When I Met My Husband is an example of literary work that educates people about contemporary issues in life. Edie had left her family to look for work, whereby she came across other factions of life. Similarly, many people get revelations about their next step in life when they indulge themselves in career and social stratification ties. In the short story by Alice Munro, the reader understands the differences in class and status from perspectives such as Dr. Peebles, Chris Watters, and other characters. Thus, just the same way Chris left Edie in suspense is a symbol of how desirable matters keep making people wait, were at the end of the day, patience may lapse probing random decisions.

Works Cited

“Alice Munro”. Biography, 2021, Web.

“How I Met My Husband – Wikipedia”. En. Wikipedia.Org, 2021, Web.

A Study Guide for Alice Munro’s” How I Met My Husband”. Gale, Cengage Learning, 2016.

Goldman, Marlene. “Autobiography In the Anthropocene. A Geological Reading of Alice Munro”. European Journal of Life Writing, vol 9, no. 6, 2020, pp. 75-92. Web.

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Kumar, Pradeep. “A Discourse Analysis of Alice Munro’s “How I Met My Husband””. International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development, vol 2, no. 1, 2017, pp. 647-651. Web.

Munro, Alice. Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You. New American Library of Canada, 1975, pp. 130-147.

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