When you are in love it’s like everything in your life seems better, but when you break up and your heart breaks it’s like everything that was good before shatters. But what if there was a way for you not to feel the heartbreak. That’s the reality in the story “The rental heart”. In the story we get introduced to a world where instead Of feeling the pain Of heartbreaks, you can just change your heart at the local heart rental place.
The main character in the story is a person who we never get to know. We never get a name or even a specific gender, sometimes we get the feeling that it’s a ay and sometime we get the feeling that maybe it might be a girl, sometimes you could even wonder if the main character just switches gender like he/she switches between the sex of his/her lover. Her pierced little mouth, her stickier boots, her hands as small as Goosebumps writing numbers on my palm” in this quote you kind of get the feeling of a male narrator, the girl is described as small compared to “him”, but then again in this quote: “Every time Jacob touched me, I felt my heart thud wetly against my lungs” the feelings the narrator goes through here are described in a very feminism matter. So maybe gender just doesn’t exist in their world, that would also explain how “he” can just change the gender of the partner he is with without giving it any thought.
This is why we will never be 100% curtain what gender the narrator is, but I will however refer to the narrator as a guy throughout the essay. The whole story is a Retrospect of the main characters life, he starts out by saying something about his current life and then goes back to telling about all the relationships he has had during a 10-year period. His first love was a guy named Jacob, it seems as though he meets him at quite a young age “And our love was owing to last forever, which at our age meant six months. It appears like they had the average teen romance, they fall hard and fast for each Other and in the end when Jacob walks away from the relationship he leaves the main character with a broken heart. After Jacob leaves him It would appear like our main character starts drinking to numb the pain ” but the parts of me that wanted to give Anna were long gone, down the gutters of the city, mixed with the chemicals of forgetting’ for a year he mourns the loss of his relationship with Jacob and then he meets Anna.
Anna is a retreat of fresh air to him, she shows him an escape from all the pain he is feeling and how he can love again. She “heals” his broken heart by giving him a new one, just like the one she has and then they begin a relationship of their own. Anna later runs away and he then changes his heart to a new one. He then meets Will and they become an item, but one day while they are going through airport security he find out that Will has a real heart and this freaks him out a bit ” it wasn’t until the plane was taxiing that realized Will had not beeped. Pent the whole flight wire-jawed with my paperback open to page one, unable o stop thinking about the contents of will’s chest” he gets overwhelmed by the fact that Will has a “real” flesh and blood heart, it is something they don’t discuss and when they break up, seems as though he can’t stop thinking about the fact that he has now been the one to shatter somebody else’s heart. After Will he has a couple Of Other relationships and by the end Of it he changes his normal go to heart rental place because he starts feel uncomfortable coming there.
A couple of years later he finds himself meeting a girl one night while he is out, he immediately changes his heart and then engages in a relationship with a RL name grace, whom he stays with till the end of the story. The short story is a science fiction story and that basically means that there is some imaginative but more or less plausible content in it. One of the things that points out to us as readers that the story is science fiction is the fact that the characters literally pops their chests open and takes out their hearts which is a thing that is impossible to do in our world.
One off the other interesting features in this text is the way the main character so casually changes between having relationships with men and women, He is what we would call a bisexual, Being bisexual is a thing that is more and more easily excepted as “normal” now a day, but it is still quite interesting how in this story it seems like it is completely normal, the main character doesn’t seem to think there is anything wrong or abnormal about it.
The same goes for his way of viewing sex, it seems as though every new relationship our main character gets into starts by them having sex. This points out to us as a reader that Whatever place our main character lives in is a very open-minded place, it could maybe be in the future, since the morals of society seem to be getting looser and looser through out the ages, but wherever t is, this could be interpreted as one of the science fiction elements in the Story.
In the story every time he changes harts he talks about how the technology has moved forward or how his new heart looks, its quite interesting because it seems as though he get’s a new type for every single person he dates this matches with how he explains that every person kind of teaches him new things and develops him as person. “The next year when I meet Will, knew what to do. The heart this time was smaller, more compact, and it clipped into place easily, Technology moves fast. Will taught me about educate… T seems as though every new heart symbolizes the relationship with the new person, with Anna everything was new and exciting with will everything just seemed to tall into place etc. In the end the main character has been in a committed relationship with grace for 3 years, one day he notices a small notice in the news that says that the heart he is currently using is detect. This would seem to again be a use of symbolism, even though his heart has been broken and defect, he has still been able to love Grace, it leads him to find out that maybe he doesn’t need the rental heart after all, because he can love on his own.