An Analysis Of Mcknight Malmar's The Storm

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Janet: Oblivious to the Obvious Due to Mental Manipulation Janet, the main character in McKnight Malmar’s short story “The Storm,” is not only married to a murderer, but also a victim of mental and emotional manipulation. Janet is gullible to Ben’s suspicious actions and does not question him at all, despite obvious red flags. The fact that Janet believes that the storm is making her see things that are not real, instead of putting together the evidence that her husband has displayed, is proof that Janet is used to questioning the validity of her own perception regularly. Ben takes advantage of Janet’s naivety and codependency to the point where she does not question him about anything, but instead, questions her own sanity. It is evident from the very beginning of the story that Janet relies on Ben for comfort. She is extremely lonely without him, unable to comfort herself, so she uses his coat to keep warm and sits in his special chair in attempt to soothe herself. Such codependency stems from naivety and low self-esteem, two traits that Janet possesses. The narrator describes Janet as childlike, “like a small girl craving protection,” and immature, which portrays a sense of innocence about her (2). It is also evident that Janet must not think very highly of herself, because “the fact that she had married at all still seemed a miracle to her” (2). The combination of Janet’s desire for protection and lack of dignity creates the perfect situation for a manipulator to gain
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