She returned to the living room and poured out the coffee for herself. She was surprised at how calm she was.

This phrase is from the last line of “Distant View of a Minaret.” The husband has just died, and the wife is not terribly upset about his passing. Sex for her was simply another one of her daily chores, and because of his inconsideration during intercourse and in talking about other women, his death does not elicit any grieving. After she finds him dead in their bed, the wife continues her normal routine: after sending her son out for the doctor, she sits down for her afternoon coffee. Outside the context of the story, the wife may seem cold, but the husband’s inconsideration and selfishness make the wife’s reaction understandable. Rifaat suggests that within a marriage, a husband and wife have a duty to fulfill each other, both emotionally and sexually. Because the husband completely fails in this regard, there is no love in the relationship, and no reason for the wife to grieve.