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Moreover, the new radio turned out to be too sensitive to electronic devices at first, and when it was repaired, it started to transmit the conversations of other people in the apartment. Irene picked up the habit of listening to these conversations, and got very upset by the evening. Jim repairs it again and gets the radio back to working condition.
Irene appears to be a contented housewife, enjoying her day to day chores and the free time in which she listens to the radio. But the peaceful atmosphere gives way to subtle nuances of conflict, as she keeps listening to the conversations of other people. She appears shocked by the evening when Jim arrives. She asks him to go up to 16-C where Mr. Osborn is beating his wife. When Jim tries to chide her, she tells him how terrible the lives of the people in their apartment had. Almost all of them were quarrelling over money matters and leading hypocritical lives. She tries to get the reassurance from Jim that their life had not been like that. She asks him: “… we have always been good and decent and loving to one another, haven’t we….Our lives aren’t sordid, are they, darling? Are they?” This reveals the inner conflicts Irene had regarding her family life. She is not totally unaware of the scars that remain after hypocritical phases of life, but she tries to overcome that with the good aspects of her life. It is the revelation that all the families around her are going through some sort of self-deception and misery which upsets her. She tries to contrast the relative peace and order in her family and hope against hope that her family life would not end up being a show off.
On the day the radio is repaired at last, a bizarre argument is picked up by Jim, which Irene tries to neglect. But in his fury, he accuses Irene of lying to him about paying the clothing bills. He makes his resentment regarding the extra expenses
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