November 16, 2019

Will Our Relationship Survive?

Yael Hovav, 26

Banality and power play can potentially kill relationships – gently balanced systems that become even more fragile as they face outside circumstances.

I wrote this story after a visit to the Scottish Universal Credit as a newlywed with my partner. Our exchange throughout this visit resonated in my mind with a dialogue between the “man” and the “girl” from Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants.

Hemingway’s story reveals banality and power play between the two characters, all the while keeping the unsettling fact of an unplanned pregnancy below the surface. My story utilises Hemingway’s structure. This time, the dialogue takes place between a “man” and “woman”. Evident is the banality of their freshly married life, and the uneven play of power between them. For them, the circumstances disturbing their gentle balance are the confusing move to a new country, adapting to a foreign language, and finding a source of income.

Is their relationship dead, or is it typical? Is it the result of circumstances, or would they be forced to rise above similar tensions under different conditions, in other settings? I hope my story will add to the discourse surrounding the gentle, sometimes volatile affairs that are human relationships.

From Springburn to Maryhill, 2019