The Man Who Hugged Women
In today’s society there is a mold that everyone tries to fit into. You have to grow up, leave your childhood behind, get an education, get married and start your own family, without ever looking back. When following this course, the goal is not happiness; the goal is to live “the good life”. Most people are afraid to accept and admit that they are not necessarily happy, as much as they are content with their way of living.
In the short story The Man Who Hugged Women by Mischa Hiller, the main character is a woman called Freya, and at first it seems that she is quite satisfied with her way of living. Freya has a good friend called Pearl. Despite these women being very close, they are nothing alike. Where Freya is sort of cynical, logical and realistic, Pearl is more of a dreamer, very naïve and spontaneous. These differences become obvious when Pearl tells Freya about her new discovery. Pearl has heard about a man who helps women, sort of a counsellor, but by hugging them instead of guiding them. Freya thinks “it’s crazy, that’s what it is”, but Pearl has already booked a session. Pearl convinces Freya to come along for support, but when they finally get there, Pearl gets cold feet and runs away. Freya stays behind to try to find somebody, to tell that Pearl does not want her session. When The Man Who Hugs Women appears in the door, Freya cannot get herself to tell him that she is not Pearl, and she ends up going to Pearl’s session.
Throughout the story, one learns a lot about both of the women. Since the story is narrated by a 3rd person narrator, who is bound to Freya, all of Freya’s thoughts are known by the reader. Because of this the readers only get to know Pearl as Freya sees her; a spontaneous, dreamy, but also determined woman.
Despite Freya’s cynicism and her tendency to rationalize everything, she admires Pearl’s spontaneity, and wishes to be more like her. Pearl is able to do something Freya is not; admitting that she...