Resentment & Demise
Charlie Fish “Death by Scrabble” tells the story of a 42 year old husband who is miserable and has extreme hate towards his wife which is stated in the first sentence of the story, “I hate my wife”. He hates his wife so much so that he starts imaging the death of his wife during a blistering hot Sunday playing scrabble with her. Throughout the story, the man thinks that if he could somehow figure out a way to kill his wife, that he would be living a more adventurous life traveling and meeting people. While playing this game, he starts to believe that the words he creates are coming true, so he tests out his logic to see if he can make up words that will have her meet her demise. He plays ZAP and she gets a static shock from the air conditioner. He plays EXPLODES and the air conditioning unit explodes. Through the whole game the man is looking for letters to spell MURDER, or something else suggestive of his hate towards his wife. His final word is QUAKE the room starts to shake as his wife plays the word DEATH. All this time he had been chewing on a scrabble tile which was a bad habit he had. Somehow it gets lodged in his throat and he ends up choking to death on it. He falls to the floor as his wife just sits there, watching; therefore she wins the game.
The husband, who is the narrator in this story, clearly hates his wife, which he states in the first line and repeats throughout the story “I hate my wife”, which comes across as a passive-aggressive behavior. He never expresses his feeling toward his wife so she doesn’t realize he blames her for the lack of excitement in his life and marriage. This is why the husband is a static character; he never changes his opinion through the entire story. If anything his hatred gets worse throughout the story. Never once does the husband realize that his wife had the same hatred as he towards the marriage and was playing the same game he was playing.
The theme of this story is blame. The...