The Bridal Chair by Gloria Goldreich Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Bridal Chair

Plot Summary Part 4

He still treats her like a servant even though she is the mother of his son David. He never offered to marry her even after she divorced her previous husband. And worst of all Virginia says that Marc no longer bones her. She looks at Ida and says that she has needs... she needs sex!

Ida, who also needs a lot of sex, says she understands.

Virginia meets a photographer named Charles who takes photographs of Marc, and takes sexual pleasure from Virginia. Virginia, having found a new source of p_nis, announces she is leaving Marc. Marc is outraged. He wants custody of David, but since he never married Virginia, he has no rights. However, Virginia gives him permission to visit David, but David will be living with her and Charles, who has taken over Marc's job of boning her.

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In a dramatic scene, Marc discovers a love letter written by Charles to Virginia. He gets enraged when he reads it. He says that Virginia has betrayed him, sleeping with another man while being with him, forgetting that this is exactly what Virginia did when she left her husband to be with Marc. Marc smacks her in the face. Smack! Smack! He punches her in the mouth. He grabs her wrists and makes her confess to all the times she got boned by Charles. Then he kicks her out.

Ida realizes that Marc needs another housekeeper to have sex with. Evidently if you are famous it is not hard to find that certain kind of housekeeper who will cook, clean, do laundry, and spread her legs for her employer, if he is famous enough. They find a devious woman named Vava who agrees to fill this role. She is called Vava but I am going to call her Vulva, for reasons that will soon become apparent.

Ida quickly realizes that Vulva uses sex to manipulate her father Marc. They are together only a few months when Marc agrees to marry her. Vulva evidently threatened to stop letting Marc bone her unless he married her. In this regard Vulva was a lot smarter than Virginia, who let Marc stick it into her for years without getting concessions.

Vulva throws all of Ida's stuff out of Marc's house, and controls everyone Marc sees and talks to. Ida soon discovers that Vulva has issued another ultimatum, forcing Marc to divorce and remarry her. Why this was necessary was unclear, but the result is very clear--Marc rewrote his will to give his inheritance, which was to go to Ida, to Vulva. Vulva used the threat of withholding sex to get Marc to leave his millions to her!

When Ida finds out she is enraged. She has spent years of her life slaving away for Marc, helping him exhibit and sell his art. She is his only child. And now this woman who just appeared in his life used sex as a weapon to control Marc. "When had he morphed into a white-haired, blue-eyed marionette who spoke the words mandated by his wife, that pale, dark-haired puppeteer? In art, he was suffused with power, but in his life, he was weak and vulnerable."

In other words, Ida finally realized that her dad, the great Marc Chagall, was a giant retard.

Vulva fires Ida as Marc's agent and takes over the role for herself.

Ida leaves and goes home in a huff. She takes down her favorite painting from her Dad, "The Bridal Chair". She spreads her legs and sobs bitterly. Her husband Franz bones her and she rapidly gives birth to three children, to give her something else do to.

The end.


Literary Criticism:

This was a story in three parts. One part was the story of the family suffering through World War II. Unfortunately, that part was not very dramatic in a literary sense, because these events, while traumatic, were happening mostly to other people, not the main characters. A second part of the story described the many artist parties and painting exhibitions that Ida arranged. These dragged on and on and name-dropped people like Picasso, but really were quite boring.

The only exciting part of the story involved the sex, unexpected impregnation, and sex mixed with blackmail. These parts were exciting because they involved character conflict. These parts of the story felt totally disconnected from the other two parts mentioned above, as if they were separate books. The story of an artist fooling around, taking girlfriends, impregnating girlfriends, and being seduced by other women, could have been a book all by itself, and been considerably shorter than this 500 page monstrosity. A shorter book focused more on character conflict would have been more enjoyable.

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