Incomplete Relationships



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Incomplete Relationships

Christine Steed’s The First Wife is an inspirational story that attempts to show that there are very little emotional and behavioral differences between people of different social classes. It does this by highlighting the challenges of getting married to famous people, as is the case with Emma. It extensively examines the downsides of letting fame take control of our lives. Sneed tears through the fallacies and assumptions that people have about fame and greatness and reveals a cruel side of the story that shakes people’s perceptions to the core. She attempts to bridge the gap between fame and non-famous lives. In fact, her first statement, ‘the famous resemble the unfamous’ (Sneed 1) confirms the general attitude of the text towards the famous. The central theme of the short story however focuses on bridging the gap between the famous and the unfamous. In the book, famous people find it difficult to have social relations because of people’s perception towards them. The book shows how societal status and class affect the way people from different social classes interact with each other. The text demystifies the fact that there is a difference between ‘normal’ people and famous people and explains the similarity in emotional reactions and behavior.

It is indeed true and clear that Sneed’s main objective is to convey the message that fame is just a superficial attribute of someone’s nature. She also tries to show that even the talented famous did not have the slightest inkling as they grew up or in their past lives that they would one day be as famous as they are. Sneed’s knowledge of these complexities stems from the fact that she has been able to interact with many famous Hollywood celebrities and has sufficient information on their public lives. In the text, the author shows some compassion for Emma which definitely does not translate to pity. She tries to reveal something about Emma’s life that makes her miserable despite living with a super star husband. It is obvious somehow, that the story has been adapted from the lives of some of the famous celebrities in Hollywood whose marriages ended up in divorce. The allusion to Hollywood celebrities might not be exactly similar to Emma’s case but stark similarities exist in various aspects.

One example that Sneed might have used to come to such conclusions is celebrities Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s unsuccessful marriage. Aniston is also a famous celebrity and during their marriage was way too famous than her celebrity husband. She was however might have been insecure with the fact that her husband was a big star and sometimes the target of women during his numerous tours. This might have been the cause of their separation several years later. Pitt met and married another beautiful celebrity, Angelina Jolie. Angelina’s character is quite different from Aniston’s, hence her success in taking away Pitt. The bottom line in this story however is that Aniston had been overshadowed by her celebrity husband because of her high expectations. She continuously ignored the fact that her husband was just as human as she was.

The narrative preferred by the author adopts a random structure. The flow of ideas and the plot is flexible such that the onus is left to the reader to decipher the occurrence of events. For instance, in page 9 Anders proposes to Emma on The Tonight Show, while she is watching on television from home with a friend. Page 10 interrupts this flow and opens with a glimpse into Anders’ confused life and his search for the ideal woman. The author tells us, “It was impossible that he would meet another woman” (Sneed 10); an argument that interrupts the intrigues of newfound love developed in the previous page. Page 11 then flashes back to Emma breaking up with her former boyfriend James. It dedicates two paragraphs to talks about the reality of rejection, and the fantasy that everything will be easy. This is an example of the style of shallow, disconnected storytelling that Sneed employs. The story is about a first wife whom we hardly know anything about. The final section, (Sneed 13), takes the reader back to the moment when Anders first moved in with her. The content contains some confused and inconsistent streaming of ideas that leaves the reader with much to think about rather than read and enjoy the he text.

Sneed uses Emma to convey her admitted consideration of retribution as a factor in pursuing a bigger settlement for the divorce although that is a vague consideration. She considers the divorce a sort of punishment to Anders, perhaps because of the wasted time and the miserable life he subjected Emma. She tends to insinuate that Emma probably must gain from the time she spent with Anders and the wasted years. Sneed seems to continue her literal onslaught on celebrity life and prefers a greater punishment on in form of a higher divorce settlement. It is no longer about a couple separating but rather a famous celebrity paying double for his woes. She continues with her random plot as before but sticks to her unnecessary and extreme treatment of celebrity relations.

As Sneed’s story concludes, the author tries to give the impression that famous people are just as normal as anyone can be and that they too are prone to as many mistakes as anyone else. She develops her initial argument that life is not very rosy on the fast lane. Towards Emma recollects a meeting with her good-looking husband and her response to his desire to copulate with her for the first time (Sneed 124). Sneed tries to demystify the celebrity image created by both print and electronic media and the image existing in the minds of any individuals about celebrity life. She highlights in a direct and accusing way the effect of these seemingly harmless perceptions on the choices we make. Emma in the story is an example of the way this obsessive behavior treats those susceptible to its charms. In the American context, celebrities are highly esteemed and every young woman would relish a chance to marry a handsome Hollywood actor same for the young men. Sneed acknowledges this fact and through Emma portends the stark reality lying in wait for them.

According to the length and depth of information contained in the text it is highly obvious that Sneed took a lot of time to examine the story before writing it. The story’s contextual framework is intricately woven to appeal to and capture the attention of the reader. She conceptualized the plot and devised a format through which she could approach the celebrity subject without provoking any emotions and avoided direct conveyance of her allusions. She is aware of the enormous risk Emma took in her decision to marry Anders representing an inarguable bias on her side. Even though Sneed expresses her issues with celebrities in exclusively in the story, she promptly excuses Anders for the outcome of events and blames the effects of stardom. Sneed’s book is a tale of the reality facing love relationships in Hollywood. The style she adopts, the subtle prose and the dynamic plot enables her to explore the story from different perspectives. Even though the facts from which she wrote the book are unknown, Sneed manages to create a direct representation of love in Hollywood and the similarity in emotions and actions between celebrities and non-celebrities. It is in general an entertaining story and informative story perhaps especially for those people who just think that celebrities are just frolicking in glitz and glamour not knowing that there is actually a hidden story and similar emotion behind those wide grins and beams that they flicker in front of those cameras.

Reflection on the Revision on Incomplete Relationships

This reflection paper covers my progress as a writer and highlights the corrections that have been made to the previous work done on Christine Steed’s The First Wife. The essay titled “Incomplete Relationships” had several structural, grammatical, punctuation and other errors that this paper aims to correct. Errors in an essay make the text difficult to comprehend thus the purpose of the essay to convey a certain message is not achieved. The revision considers grammatical and punctuation errors, incorrect and unclear thesis statement and introduction, the structure of the topics and the evidence, the new points introduced and the revision process. The changes made are numerous and significant in enhancing the comprehension of the paper. The paper contained several errors that were corrected to make it better comprehensive.


The introduction of the previous edition had a confused sense of purpose. It is difficult to derive from the introduction the purpose of writing the paper. One can see that the author is talking about the complexities of marrying a celebrity but there are also indications that the paper analyzes something else. There is some dalliance with the issue of the story talking about people having the ability of being famous and the downsides of being famous. There is also some allusion to the possibility of a similarity between the famous and those not famous, thus “the famous resemble the unfamous”. There are stark contradictions in the three issues cited above that make the introduction look undecided. It does not really show a central aim. Concisely the introduction shows a general confusion on what the paper is all about. The revision considers all these and cites the issues to be discussed clearly and concisely. It considers the main textual issues and introduces a Hollywood example. The revised introduction is thus more comprehensive and covers the limitations of the previous one.

Thesis Statement

The first edition also does not contain a clear thesis statement. The thesis statement usually appears as the last line of the introductory paragraph. In this case, however the introductory paragraph has a last line that does not qualify as a thesis statement. The last line, “She also shows the order of the events with the places, and the reasons for divorces” is just a general statement that captures no particular issue on the aim of the paper. The revision considers this and provides a comprehensive thesis statement that explains the purpose of the paper. The new thesis statement “The text demystifies the fact that there is a difference between ‘normal’ people and famous people and explains the similarity in emotional reactions and behavior”, explains the entire purpose of the paper covering all the discussion points.

Topic Sentences and Organization

Several topic sentences in the revised work show what each paragraph is about and serve to enhance the main purpose of the thesis statement. The entire paper is divided into seven paragraphs. It begins with an introduction, which explains the content of the essay and the thesis statement. The rest of the five paragraphs after the introduction are arguments supporting the thesis statement of the essay. The last paragraph of the essay is the conclusion paragraph that contains a brief summary of the arguments a restatement of the thesis and a conclusion on the arguments. Every paragraph has a topic sentence outlining its contents. The paragraph also has a concluding sentence summarizing its argument.

The second paragraph of the essay for instance tells the reader that Sneed’s book captures fame as a superficial attribute. The arguments within the paragraph draw from the short story to support this statement. For instance, it captures Emma’s decision to marry Anders because she thought that because he was famous he was different from other men. The argument also draws some evidence from the text to support it. For instance in this paragraph, the miserable life Emma lives with her celebrity husband is used to form the conclusion that life with her celebrity husband is indeed as normal as any other life. The rest of the essay develops in that form with each argument supporting the thesis statement. The paragraphs show a flow of ideas from the main point to other supporting features and topics.

New Points

Several new points have been added to the revision to make it more comprehensive and enhance some arguments. One of the new points added is the topic on paragraph four. The new topic examines Sneed’s attempt to highlight the erratic nature of all humans. It shows that just like other human beings, celebrities are also prone to many errors. There is therefore no difference between celebrities and other error-prone humans. The new idea serves to enhance the main thesis of the paper. It shows a close semblance exists between the famous and those who are not famous. The superficial nature of fame therefore does not affect the behavior of the famous. The evidence cited is Emma’s case when she gets married to a superstar who ends up mistreating her. This shows that they are all capable of committing errors and mistakes just like other human beings. This argument supports the purpose of the book to depict celebrities as equal to other human beings contrary to popular belief. This idea reinforces the fact that


The revision adopted a patronizing tone. It attempts to support Sneed in providing advice to Americans and other people who believe that celebrities live more perfect lives than other people. It also attempts to convince the reader that celebrities are normal people in an understandable and convincing tone. The revision adopted an active voice style in all the arguments. Unlike in the previous edition of this paper, the passive voice was avoided in making arguments that support the thesis statement. The active voice for instance, “The central theme of the short story however focuses on bridging the gap between the famous and the unfamous” is one example as used in the text. The words applied in the arguments were simple and understandable. Common and unambiguous words make the paper more understandable and easy to comprehend. Such words as used in the revision have increased its comprehension and enhanced the understanding of the main argument.

Nuts and Bolts

The use of grammar and punctuation has been given a lot of prominence in the revision. The grammar in the paper for example has been carefully selected such that the sentences and grammatical elements are correctly placed to avoid any mistakes that might make the paper less understandable. Punctuation marks in the revision are placed correctly. For instance unlike the previous paper that had inappropriately placed semi-colons, this revision is correctly punctuated.


The paper has been correctly punctuated and the styles have been correctly chosen. The paper is now more understandable unlike the previous one. The flowing structure, the enhanced arguments and the rewritten thesis are simpler and easily understandable. The use of clear topic sentences in the paper and the clear organization of arguments from the introduction to the conclusion transform the paper into a more understandable essay.

The overall writing process was simpler and care was taken to avoid ambiguous statements and confused arguments. The entire paper was even more understandable and as the arguments flowed, it was easier to form a conclusion than in the previous one. Generally, my writing progress has improved. I have gained the ability to write clear and concise statements and comprehensive arguments in a flowing manner.