A story "Wants" gives the readers a feeling of loneliness. A narrator, a woman who had been married for twenty-seven years and got divorced, met her ex-husband. They had a short conversation without any emotions. He accused her of not paying much attention to his wishes like buying the boat or meeting with their acquaintances.
She has a completely different attitude to her life, her wishes are to be a better person and to live in imaginable perfect society. It is very different what she wants.
The story goes on the background of returning the books which she took in the library eighteen years ago. She was fined by the librarian and consequently, the clerk accepted her apologies.
I think that the main idea of this short story is to show how the time passes. She said that she had not thought about his wishes because "my father was sick that Friday, then the children were born, then I had those Tuesday-night meetings, then the war began ..."
This feeling when the time has gone and there is no chance to change the passing life is known for people in the old age (in fact it is known to everyone) ... Grace Paley described it very well.
There is uncertainty in the plot of this story, but it is a part of life. People are strangers on the way between the past and the future, during the short pause they could think about what did not happen with regret.
The narrator described in very bright expressions the way, how people can harm others giving just remarks about features of others characters. What she thought:
"He had had a habit throughout the twenty-seven years of making a narrow remark which, like a plumber's snake, could work its way through the ear down the throat, half-way to my heart. He would then disappear, leaving me choking with equipment."
People are very vulnerable in terms of what other people say about them. The narrator had her personal point of view for life which is a very different from what her ex-husband had, but after she stayed alone, she didn't feel sure about her rightness.
"I felt extremely accused. Now, it's true, I'm short of requests and absolute requirements. But I do want something"
She isn't a strong person, she doesn't mind being jolting by somebody, in the last line of the story she said: "when a person or an event comes along to jolt or appraise me I can take some appropriate action". I suppose that the moral of this story is the person is only a part of society and she is acting according to the circumstances like a lonely boat in an endless ocean.
This story was discussed and corrected by the teacher Maria in online English school albert-learning.com