The Catbird Seat
“The Catbird Seat” Questions 1-9
1. Throughout the story suspense is aroused and maintained excellently. This is achieved by the character the author creates. Mr. Martin is characterized as a neat and cautious man, who never took a smoke or a drink in his life. Our suspense is aroused when the author states that it has been “a week to the day since Mr. Martin had decided to rub out Mrs. Ulgine Barrows”. This arouses our suspense because we are told Mr. Martin is planning to murder this woman. The suspense is maintained with Mr. Martin’s thoughts. We as an audience are given his thoughts through the use of the 3rd person omniscient point of view. His thoughts are mostly on the issue on his dislike of Mrs. Barrows. Because of this, he
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Barrows could be considered a static character because she does not change, she is very predictable. In the 40s and 50s there were rigid stereotypes on what women and men ought to be doing. Men were supposed to be providers for the family, and being providers they had to work. They were usually athletic and kept positive attitudes in order to brighten their lives when times got tough. Women on the other hand were expected to be at home cooking, cleaning and watching the children. Women were generally expected to be quieter and keep their opinions to themselves. The characters in this story have inversed stereotypes. Mrs. Barrows threatens Mr. Martin by being a loud woman in the workplace who shot to success very quickly while it took him 22 years to get in the position in which he is in. For this jealous reason he wanted to expel this woman from his life. A foil is when one character contrasts with another character in the story. This is clearly seen with the two characters, Mr. Martin and Mrs. Barrows. Mrs. Barrows being loud and obnoxious is in direct contrast to Erwin’s quiet and reserved personality. These two characters highlight the extreme differences between each other and for this reason they are perfect character foils.
5. The story is highlighted by its two major conflicts. One is Mr. Martin against Mrs. Barrows and the second being Mr. Martin against himself. The first conflict is present throughout the whole story, but most