1.) Colette the author of “ The Hand” describes the newly found emotions of a teenage bride shortly after her wedding through the description of her husband’s hand. The young newly-wed at the beginning of the story looks around her new home and admires the differences between this home and her pre-marital home. The adolescent wife unable to sleep at night because of her excitement opens her eyes at night and “ savors, with astonishment, . . . the brand new curtains. . . instead of the apricot-pink. . . where she slept as a little girl”( Colette 55). The thrill of her new surroundings is an important setup for the rest of the story because it reveals to the reader how fresh this relationship is and the innocent ignorance between them.
2.) The proud and joyous young bride is initially exuberant about having her “ handsome” husbands hand complacently resting “ under the small of her, adolescent back”(55). The girl after savoring her new environment turns her attention to this “ powerful” hand(55). Her eyes were glancing over every small detail from his “red hairs . . . all curved in the same direction, like ears of wheat in the wind” to his “ flat nails” that “gleamed, coated with pink varnish”(56). The small previously unnoticed details of her husbands hand then began to frighten and disgust the wife because she then realized how little she knew about him and their love was just based out of lust. The nails of her husbands hand she moments before admired became the turning point in the brides emotional state. She says “ I’ll tell him not to varnish his nails . . .Varnish and pink polish don’t go with a hand so . . .”(56). In the next paragraph she looks at thumb and states that “ the hand suddenly took on a vile, apelike, appearance”(56). The sudden change from admiration to disgust of the hand of her husband just further reassures the reader of the unknown details between the two brought on by the rapid “scandalous” marriage of the month old couple(56).
3.) Colette chooses to write “The Hand” in the third -person to evoke feelings in the reader of his or her own relationships past or present. Many would agree relationships can be rushed into because of lust and the exciting feeling of the unknown about their partner; this is most certainly true about the young bride. For example the husband has had experience in life and love being a “recently widowed man“, while the teen has had little to none. Rushing into a relationship of only a month after his wife was deceased and the teen referring to her “ conjugal adventures” as “ little more than kidnapping”(55). While many have not experienced a death of their spouse or mate and rushed into a new relationship but many have regretted rushing into a new relationship without properly knowing their partner. If Colette had written this story in the first-person many of the emotions and memories that are being conjured in the minds of the reader would be lost.