Martin Meadows would be described as a loving, kind and patient man who loved his wife and kids dearly, but like all families, he has problem within the household. Like most families, Martin faces complications within his family. Martin has been dealing with his wife’s addiction with alcohol, and it is slowly tearing their marriage apart. In the story, Emily Meadows tries to hide the fact that she drinks alcohol during the day while her husband is at work, and
Martin questions her about it and she replies “Because drink a couple of Sherries in the afternoon you’re trying to make out as a drunkard” in a rather rude and inexcusable tone. Martin starts realizing that he cannot trust Emily to do the simple things around the home, such as cooking and watching the children, without her being intoxicated. Martin pleads to her, “If you could only realize how sick I am – How bad it is for all of us”, but Emily fails to understand that her addiction is not only affecting her, but it’s affecting her family as well.
For example, at the beginning of the story, just as Martin has gotten home from work, he walked in to Andy yelling, “Daddy, daddy, daddy! It hurts. The toast was hot. ” Andy was referring to how his mother had mistakenly put Cheyenne pepper on the toast instead of cinnamon, as she was meaning to, but fail to do so because she was under the influence of alcohol. Another incident was, when Emily was giving their daughter, Marianne, a bath, and she dropped and cut her head open on the table. Because of Emily s ignorance, Marianne could have died that day.
Martin fears or the lives of their children and it cause him to despise his wife’s behavior. Emily denies her drinking problem, and is paranoid that her family may be judging and turning against her. For example, Martin was entertaining Andy about his loosened tooth, joking about there being a ‘tooth tree’ in the family if his tooth did not come that night. Martin mood had changed once he saw that Emily was coming down from upstairs. Referring back to when she and Martin was talking upstairs, and he implied that her addiction was a condition, Emily yells, “Condition!
You talk to me like. Don’t think I’ll forget. Remember every lie you say to me. Don’t you think for a minute that forgot”, Martin asked her to mind what she was saying because she was in front of the children and that’s when she started to cry and accused him of turning her children against her. Emily s paranoia convinced her that Martin was feeding the children lies about her, which very well wasn’t true. Even with Emily addiction to alcohol and all she has done, he cannot help but love his wife, even though he has started to resent her.