The Rug – Short Story | Essay

“The rug” is a short story in which a luxurious rug coincidentally is delivered at the wrong address in a small village in Western Ireland. The family living there is surprised because of the fact that they are not wealthy people, and more importantly because the mother does not know anyone who has ever been that nice to her beforehand. The house inhabits three, including a woman, her husband, and their (allegedly) 9 or 10-year-old daughter. The plot is structured around the daughter’s narration of this particular childhood experience. The plot relies on the narrator’s memory. This is seen in the way she recalls details about the rug, the smell of the linoleum, and the certain vibe in the West-Irish village. The title of the story is straightforward and informative and simply telling us that this is a story about a rug of some sort. Despite this you could dig deeper and draw a comparison between the simple, “cold” title and the story’s plot.

The setting is visualized by a whole lot of details, smells, and feelings. The story takes place in a village in West Ireland where the potholes are deep and the cowpats on the road come in larger numbers than the inhabitants. First of, the narrator gives us an idea of her childhood life and environment by mentioning the smell of the new linoleum that her mother laid out on the countryside-house’s floor. If the short story had not given away the setting we would still be able to figure out what sort of place it is and that it is indeed a “far-out” village. Furthermore, the narrator’s father inherited the house they live in from his father, and that fact immediately gives us the idea that his father inherited it from his father and so on. Logically then, it is a classic example of a farmhouse passed down from generation to generation.

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