|Gateau au Chocolat|
The themes, for me, include that settling or marrying a person for material gain is not going to be a good idea. "For a good life, a good girl will do anything." Sometimes a person needs help to stop being abused and/or neglected. And, also sometimes a person is so desperate that he or she feels that death is the only solution. "A cure for hiccups is a bullet and a gun, a snakebite, a gas can."
"Take the Car, Take the Girl" is subtle and an astute character study of a woman in an unhappy situation. However, it's all shown through mundane activities, a couple of thoughts, and a few statements, mostly out loud but that no one hears until, at last, Tweedy takes action. And, you will be surprised! The lady has chutzpah after all. A great read.
The story is told in a third-person, shifting, point of view. "Take the Car, Take the Girl" was included in Carve: Honest Fiction and then in McLean's collection, Reptile House which won the BOA Short Fiction Prize. The version in Carve has a couple of extra lines; otherwise, the versions are identical, outside of a paragraph indentation and one capitalization and one sentence made into two. I find it interesting to compare differently edited versions of short stories.