A Pair of Silk Stockings

A Pair of Silk Stockings Characters

Mrs. Sommers

Mrs. Sommers, the protagonist and only major character in the story, is an impoverished, industrious young woman. Although her poor neighbors dwell on the fact that Mrs. Sommers was once richer and more fortunate (before… (read full character analysis)

Mr. Sommers

Mr. Sommers is an invisible force throughout the story. The reader never meets Mrs. Sommers’s husband, and it is unclear whether he is dead or alive, but he is a strong patriarchal symbol in… (read full character analysis)

Janie, Mag, and the Boys

Janie, Mag and the boys are Mr. Sommers and Mrs. Sommers’s children. They are mentioned only at the beginning of the story when Mrs. Sommers lies awake at night, meticulously planning how to spend… (read full character analysis)

The Clerk

The clerkin the shoe department meets Mrs. Sommers shortly after she has bought and put on her new stockings. He is bewildered by the juxtaposition between the luxurious silk stockings and the rest of… (read full character analysis)

The Man on the Cable Car

The stranger on the cable car appears right at the story’s close, as Mrs. Sommers is traveling home from her shopping day. The man has “keen eyes” as he watches Mrs. Sommers carefully. The narrator… (read full character analysis)
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The Shop Assistant

The shop assistant, described as a “young girl,” helps Mrs. Sommers find a pair of black silk stockings in the right size. Mrs. Sommers feels like a princess when the assistant asks if she would… (read full character analysis)

The Waiter

The waiter in the upscale restaurant is attentive to Mrs. Sommers, making her feel welcome and comfortable in a space that was previously barred to her because of her poverty. When Mrs. Sommers leaves… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
The Neighbors
The neighbors are mentioned only in passing when the narrator describes how they chatter and gossip about Mrs. Sommers’s life before her marriage. It is implied that she enjoyed more wealth or a superior class status before marrying Mr. Sommers, who is evidently from a lower-class background.