In The Female Persuasion, sofa beds symbolize the impermanence of Greer, Zee, and Cory’s post-grad lives, which are marked by transition, emphasis on the present rather than the future, and flimsy relationships. As Greer begins her life in Brooklyn, Zee struggles to carve out a path toward activism for herself in Chicago, and Cory moves home to care for his grieving mother. All three find themselves in liminal spaces. Recurring images of sofa beds symbolize the impermanence of their post-grad lives, as well as the ways in which all three characters assure themselves and one another that the dubious or half-hearted decisions they’re making now are just temporary decisions that will not dictate who they’ll be in the future. When Greer hooks up with a Loci coworker, they spend entire weekends on his futon, sitting in silence on their respective laptops in between rounds of intercourse, emphasizing the flimsy, temporary nature of the relationship. In addition, while visiting Zee in Chicago, Greer confesses to betraying Zee long ago by secretly withholding Zee’s letter to Faith Frank, Zee’s idol and Greer’s boss. Upon hearing this confession, Zee “imagine[s] telling [her partner] Noelle everything tonight in bed while Greer lay on the sleeper sofa in the living room,” highlighting that Greer has only temporarily reentered Zee’s life. Likewise, when Cory finally frees himself from the grief he has been lodged in since his brother’s death, he pays Greer a visit in New York and sleeps on her pull-out couch. As the three friends couch-hop over the years, they move in and out of one another’s lives with similar ease, unaware of the ways in which their present choices will impact how their lives ultimately unfold.
Sofa Beds Quotes in The Female Persuasion
He took his little kit into the bathroom while she placed sheets on the mattress of the small foldout sofa. This was an era in which sofa beds were frequently opened and unfolded; at this age people were still floating, not entirely landed, still needing places to stay the night sometimes. They were doing what they could, crashing in other places, living extemporaneously. Soon enough, the pace would pick up, the solid matter of life would kick in. Soon enough, sofa beds would stay folded.