The Waltz Summary
Dorothy Parker

Everything you need to understand or teach The Waltz by Dorothy Parker.

  • The Waltz Summary & Study Guide

The Waltz Summary

Several themes can be discerned from "The Waltz." One of these concerns conformity to societal expectations.

Conventions regarding feminine behavior dictate that a woman accommodate herself to the needs of a man. Therefore, the narrator finds it difficult to say 'no' when asked to dance, or to talk of her problems with the waltz. This leads to a second theme, one seen in many of Parker's stories: the lack of communication between the sexes. Rather than express her displeasure, the narrator endures the waltz in silent agony. To complain would risk stopping the dance, failing to be feminine, and being left alone, behaviors unbecoming to a lady in a social setting.

Closely related is the issue of women's over-dependence on men. Whether induced by societal pressure or by inherent flaw, the narrator seems to prefer the crudest of male companionship to her independence, perhaps for a reason.


(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The The Waltz Study Pack contains:

The Waltz Short Guide