James Thurber's Short Story 'But The One On The Right'

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Paragraph 1: James Thurber, in his short story titled “The Catbird Seat” emphasizes that Edwin Martin’s critical thinking avoids putting himself in messy situations, the author characterizes him this way to prove that he got what he wanted without having to damage his image. Mr.Martin, a hardworking, well-organized and lowkey man. No one suspects him of doing anything wrong because he has built a reputation to make himself look like a goodie two shoes, he does not smoke nor drink, and he isn’t a disturbance to anyone’s life. When the narrator states: “If anyone of the staff of F&S had seen him buy cigarettes, they would have been astonished, [...] Mr. Martin did not smoke, and never had.” If it were possible for the characters in Mr.Martin’s…show more content…
The progress in telling and retelling a story can be determined by seeing how many occurrences that happen, how many settings is used in the story and how much details are put into the story. The time seems go slow because there are a lot of things that she tells, she gives a lot of information around her surroundings, especially since she is in the same restaurant the whole evening. The story itself is made up by Mrs. Parker’s judgements and her thought, using the first perspective of her own self, about what has happened around her, the meals, the men in between, the girl besides the “Greek god” on the right, and her own feeling. When she states: “I should never have come, never. I’m here against my better judgement [...] to a decision.”(p.26), I see the distance between what she did and what her thought thinks. By reading this line, the distance between mrs. Parker and people around her, and her own mind becomes important as it is becoming the postulate on how long the story will be going. The things that she does, the things that people around her do, become judgements for her own thoughts. Mrs. Parker’s perspective becomes important because she is the only source of the story, since there is no other narrator but her, the story cannot be known as if it is relevant or not with what was really happened around the…show more content…
He reacted most of the things that life offers us with few emotions; life is short and people are selfish. Richler, however portrays his characters with optimistic personalities to respond positively in spite of these negative aspects, regardless of how many limits there are. This view is emphasized by a keen sense of the ridiculous in these characters, notably himself as the narrator in this story, which details our perceptions and observations. As uncanny as his characters sometimes are, nonetheless, this former Montreal resident still had a warm sense of feeling for them. He, himself, portrays his own character to think one way and put his thoughts into action in a quite different way. This is apparent towards the end of the story when instead of choosing to be himself for a date, he follows the guidelines of the Duddy Kravitz brochure. Despite the clear moral and social blindness of the narrator and his friends, they are teenagers, desperately reaching a certain control on their own lives and proving to most of their female childhood friends that they are grown. I believe that the author wanted the reader to empathize with them rather than just love them as characters. Although their environment is a Jewish neighborhood, being the Plateau, most readers can relate themselves to one or
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