The twisted tale of Lust is chronicled not with a series of events, but rather the men in the protagonist’s life. Though it is told through a first person narrative, her story takes a backseat claim, focusing on her romantic interests who funnel quickly through her life, coming and going as if it were a subway train in the gritty underground tunnels of Chicago. This deliberately dilutes the typical charm a narrator possesses which normalizes their actions and places the reader in the shoes of the protagonist. Right from the beginning you feel a sense of detachment from the character that is never remedied through the duration of the short story. The author feeds on the reader’s innate need for acceptance, and pulls them from their comfort zone allowing them to be free from human tendency for dismissive judgmental criticism. In doing this, we are allowed to feel for the protagonist, and not only feel sympathy for her but also relate to her.
“I could do some things well. Some things I was good at, like math or painting or even sports, but the second a boy puts his arm around me, I forgot about wanting to do anything else, which felt like a relief at first until it became like sinking into muck” (230). This plea for attention demonstrates that the protagonist’s personal interests are subsided by the simple want for attention. Although the men are characterized by their name, their names are simply benchmarks that represent the different stages of affection she lusts for throughout the tale. Roger and Tim were two of the earlier boys in her life, with using phrases such as, “We had been dancing so hard before.” And, “Roger was fast. In his illegal car, we drove to the reservoir, the radio blaring, talking fast, fast, fast. (229) she describes that she didn’t particularly seek the attention from the men themselves, but rather the excitement from the thrill of the lifestyle the boys had led on. It wasn’t until she experienced the death of Eben she had...
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