“Advice” — Langston Hughes


5 thoughts on ““Advice” — Langston Hughes”

  1. […] One woman who has absolutely no problem asserting herself: Opal Edwards.  She was introduced as an obstacle, an antagonist, a barrier between Algie and Neely, a grasping shrew who was that most terrible sin for a woman to commit: “determined.” But here’s the thing: she’s right.  She’s right about everything.  She’s right to be mad at her husband for keeping her a secret from his family.  She’s right to be mad at him for ceasing to write to her when, as she correctly guesses, he meets someone else.  She’s right to question the Robertsons’ liberal patronage when they won’t even let Algie’s parents sit at the table as equals during the “celebratory” luncheon they throw in her and Algie’s honor.  She’s right to point out that all his accomplishments are his, not the Robertsons’.  In less capable hands, this arc would be a tiresome soap-opera triangle: the mean-spirited pre-existing wife getting in the way of her poor husband’s impossible love with the woman of his dreams.  In the hands of Soderbergh et al., it’s compelling drama.  After Opal expresses her displeasure, we see why Algie liked her in the first place.  She’s passionate.  She’s outspoken.  She’s even, when he takes her to a dancehall up in the new neighborhood of Harlem, quite a bit of fun.  And, I mean, she’s easy on the eyes, too.  Algie could never have found happiness with Cornelia, for any number of reasons.  He can be happy with Opal.  I hope he is.  I hope she’s happy with him.  It’s like the Langston Hughes poem, “Advice“: […]


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