Category: Analysis

Sam Ruddick’s Story ‘Leak’ 

Sam Ruddick’s story ‘Leak’ is a very unique and interesting piece.   It describes behaviors and lifestyles that I don’t think are the norm, but are quite thought provoking.  Actually, within my circle of acquaintances, the characters in the story would be described as unusual.  Reading through the story, I am struck by Peyton, Stacy and Oscar’s experiences, and will attempt to discuss them briefly.

The Main Heroes

Peyton is a married woman and going by her stylish clothing, is obviously well to do and well educated.  She isn’t fulfilled in her marriage and has an extra-marital affair.  She seems to be a reflective type of person to some extent and understands that people could be overtaken in an instant or make split second decisions, some things cannot always be predicted.  She is open to her husband about her needs as well as open to him about desiring an extra-marital relationship.  She is also open to him about actually being involved in an extra-marital relationship.  That is a completely different experience from mine.    I am a happily married woman and find my relationship with my husband fulfilling.  It would be inconceivable for either of us to consider extra-marital affairs because we love each other and our faith also forbids it.

Peyton’s Style

I find a similarity though in the aspect of Peyton’s style, I like formal dressings for outings and like her outfit of a tan skirt and cream-colored blouse.  It is feminine and business like, which is a style I like.  I tend to wear skirts and blouses more than jeans and T-Shirts.  I also find a similarity in what I think is her maturity; she comes across as someone who would not flippantly assign labels to people based on their actions. I try not to do that as well.

Stacy is an interesting girl. She appears to be a young and carefree spirit.  The red hair and pony-tails seem to speak of youthfulness, a fun and flirty girl. She was able to go back to her ex-boyfriend’s house freely.  She made herself comfortable. Even though her relationship with Oscar was over, yet she felt at home.  She didn’t mind that there was another woman in the house. This is a complete contrast to my experiences.  When I broke up with my friend Einstein before I got married, I never went back to his house even though he lived a block away.  I used to feel very uncomfortable at the thought of seeing him again; I knew the whole relationship had been a mistake.  Einstein hadn’t liked my position on intimacy after marriage and not before.  As for talking about his on-going relationships, I wouldn’t have been able to do that, the way Stacy did with Oscar.

Characters Oscar's is Unique

The third character Oscar is again quite unique.  Here is a man who is having an affair with a married woman and he talks about her to Stacy, his ex-girlfriend.  They are still close enough in some way for Stacy to feel free to walk into his apartment as she pleased.  Obviously love wasn’t a part of his motives for having a relationship with Peyton.  And Peyton is a married woman too, so love isn’t her motive as well.  Payton had said Oscar liked to be a ‘bad boy’, so that meant he derived pleasure from doing that which was wrong socially. This is in total contrast to my experiences. My husband loves me and as a Minister, he is careful about doing things that can lead people to Christ, and not the other way.

I have learned quite a few lessons as I reflect on these three characters. Peyton’s openness seems to me to be a very good lesson in communication; especially, that she was able to talk to her husband about her needs.  I certainly want to maintain that level of openness with my husband on various aspects of our life as a family. She is also self-assured, which is a good thing to be.  Stacy’s behavior on the other hand, underscores the lesson for me that it is not good to be selfish or self-centered.  Her refusal to leave upset Peyton and led to a series of accidents, and there was nothing in the story to show that she felt any remorse or understood that her presence triggered those series of events.  Finally, Oscar points to a lesson for me to always give adequate attention to my husband.  It would be strange to have him talking to a woman the way Oscar does with Stacy, even though my scenario is quite different as a married woman. But I have learned a lesson, never to be too busy to listen to my family.

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