Take Pity: Summary and critical analysis. Written in the background of economic depression (1929-1933), the story sheds light on the helpless mother, Eva, who is starving but will not accept “charity” and Mr. Rosen who is determined that he “will give” “charity” to her. Eva has led a life of bitterness and suffering. She has seen the darker side of life which is so ugly and horrible that it has made her a thorough pessimist.
She does not “expect better” in life. Probably, she believes that nobody can rescue her from the misfortunes she has had. She wants to run the grocery shop with the insurance money of her late husband where it stands no chance to. The shop fails badly and she is starving along with her two daughters. She believes that she is facing all the troubles due to her misfortune which she cannot avoid by any means. Therefore, she wants to live by herself even if she has to crawl.
On the other hand, Mr. Rosen, an ex-salesman, is alone in this world. He is a sick man with one kidney but he is very optimistic. He wants to help Eva by all means. He offers her to marry him, suggests her to find a job and advises her to marry someone else. When Eva does not agree to any of these He tries to help her monetarily but she keeps on saying “no”. Soon, Eva is without food and Rosen tries to bring something for her daughters but Eva asks Rosen never to come again.
When all efforts to help Eva fail, eventually, the ex-salesman decides to commit suicide and let in his will go all to Eva and her daughters that belongs to him. The attempt fails and Eva comes to know all this but now Rosen does not want to see her. We find her standing outside the window of the ex-salesman begging forgiveness but he wouldn’t even look at her and drop the shutters of the window.