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 Mrs. Sommers’s story. It is clear that Mr. Sommers is of a lower class ranking to Mrs. Sommers because she has experienced a social and financial demotion since her marriage to him, a situation that their neighbors gossip about ceaselessly. Although Mrs. Sommers doesn’t like to dwell on her past, it is apparent that this has brought her some unhappiness. Mrs. Sommers’s life is unmistakably and materially bound up in her (inferior) position as wife to Mr. Sommers. This is exemplified through the recurrent use of “Mrs. Sommers”; her first name is never revealed and so, even in her own story, her identity and subjectivity continue to be subsumed by her relation to a man.