The Visible Filth
Nathan Ballingrud
Contributed by Shemika Thormahlen
Chapter 13
Summary

Will decides to break up with Carrie. In his mind, he believes it is an honorable thing to do — that is, sacrificing their relationship to protect her. He also feels that the overall situation is hastening their break-up, since she is going to dump him anyway — for Steve, or any other guy who is more accomplished than he is. Nonetheless, in his heart, Will knows that Alicia is the reason for all the decisions he is making. Carrie affirms that she knows it is because of Alicia, to which Will denies despite knowing better. He later shifts the reasoning to the yellow phone and its contents, which makes her angry as she is already well and truly involved. Nonetheless, she tells him to find a place to stay, for they can no longer continue living together. Will goes into the bedroom and starts packing, during which Carrie remains in the kitchen and sobbing at what has just transpired.

Analysis

Apart from being self-serving, Will can also be seen as manipulative — as demonstrated by focusing his thoughts on the wrong reasons for choosing to break up with Carrie. Although Will knows that Alicia is with Jeffrey, the belief that he is better suited for her seems to matter more than anything else. Therefore, he decides to break up with Carrie because she is probably going to leave him sooner or later. Such thinking shows that he categorizes people differently according to their ambitions, accomplishments, and social statuses. Will has never met Steve, but keeps on thinking that he wants Carrie. While that might be true, he is jumping to conclusions without ascertaining the facts. Furthermore, Will’s ugliness is evident in this part, for he chooses to leave Carrie despite what has just happened. She tries to remain calm and sensible, despite somewhat expecting a possible break-up, and sobs because it still hurts her.

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