1 February 7th, 2013
The Wednesday Circle
● Betty has high expectations for the Wednesday Circle
● She thinks that if she tells them that Mr. Joy touches her inappropriately, they will all be
able to help because they are caring, accepting, and religious women.
● Motif: CIRCLE
○ This motif foreshadows that the circle will eventually fail. Throughout the story the
word circle is employed many times such as the hens circling around her, the
circle around the tooth decaying, and the light that was very dim.
● Bottom of page 290: “That woman...Betty steps into circle”
● Everyone’s talking badly about Mrs. Joy which is in contrast to what Betty thinks this
circle is about
● This circle sets people out and ostracized them, just as they ostracize Mrs. Joy
● They judge Mrs. Joy’s life as having committed many sins
● Mrs. Braun chastises Mika for making fun of Mrs. Joy
● In the story we are introduced to the white haired woman: this is a symbol of age and
● Pg. 291-293: White haired woman talks about a girl in Russia who was raped by men in
the army until she committed suicide.
● Mika: “suicide is an unforgivable sin” because once you do it, you cannot repent
● The White Haired woman acknowledges God’s mercy and understanding and believes
that God will not punish her
○ How does this relate to Betty’s life?
■ Is she offering this story specifically to Betty? Does she know about Mr.
Joy who touches her? If she knows, do other people know?
● Betty has complicated feelings in regards to Mr. Joy. She feels guilty (partly due to the
brainwashing since the sexual abuse happened over the span of 4 years). Also, she has
no idea how to stop it from occurring
● The author well captures the insidious cycle
● Pg. 293: “God provided the gun”
○ Throughout the story, Mika has been characterized as unsympathetic. Betty does
not want to look like her mother (when Mr. Joy makes that comment to her), not
does Mika care enough about her daughter (or pay attention) that she needs a
bra. But in her dialogue after this statement, we see a new and truer side of Mika.
She goes on to say “no no, he doesn’t condemn...” And that if it wasn’t an
unforgivable sin she would have done it years ago! What is stopping her? Her
strong religious beliefs
● Mrs. Braun responds to this by saying that she should not even think these things and
● Mrs. Braun is on parallel from Mrs. Thompson from My Heart is Broken. They both don’t
want to acknowledge what is going on in front of them. Mrs. Thompson wants to remain
in her bubble and not know who committed raped out of fear of shattering her ideals
about her town. Similarly, Mrs. Braun does not want to acknowledge that people within
her circle can even feel like this at times. 2 February 7th, 2013
● The White Haired Woman makes the comment that finally someone speaks the truth
After these major dialogues, what thoughts occur to Betty?
● When Mika says these things, it shows that Betty does