Janus

Topics: Short story, Ann Beattie, Woman Pages: 1 (463 words) Published: April 13, 2015
 «Janus» is the short story written by Ann Beattie, a modern American author. The story was firstly published in the New Yorker magazine in 1985. The plot of the story is about a young woman who`s name is Andrea. She is successful real estate agent who likes her job. The reader finds from the very beginning that the protagonist is strangely attached to a cream-colored bowl. She often places the bowl in the homes that she shows to potential clients. By the end of the story, readers discover that the bowl is so meaningful for her because it is a gift from Andrea’s lover. In the story the author explores the double nature of success. She touches upon the lives of upper-middle class men and women in a contemporary society. From the first line the author triggers attention to the bowl («The bowl was perfect»), using repetition, epithets («perfect magic bowl») and a simile («as a mutt»).When Andrea shows homes to prospective buyers she places the bowl in a prominent place. She tries to make houses she sells more attractive and cozy to clients. She believes that the bowl in some way helps her, that it is particularly «wonderful» because «it was both noticeable and subtle». The bowl is cream colored with a glowing glaze. Scattered across its surface are small flecks of color. One day she becomes obsessed with this item and even dreams about the bowl. She treats the bowl as if it is a person. She even finds herself paying more attention to the bowl than to her husband. At the end of the story the reader realizes what exactly this bowl means for Andrea. This is a thing that reminds her about her lover. He buys the bowl for Andrea and then tells her that she needs to choose between him and her husband. He leaves her alone after Andrea refuses to make the choice. She isn’t ready to make changes in her comfortable average middle class life. She is more likely not infatuated with her husband anymore, describing him as a quiet and reflective man who...
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