Analysis of The Carbird Seat by James Thurbar Essay

Analysis of The Carbird Seat by James Thurbar Essay

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James Thurber’s, The Catbird Seat narrates a story about Mr. Martin, a man who is a loyal employee at the company F&S. Mr. Martin begins to notice the increased layoffs and begins to worry about his fate. He decides to take drastic measures against Mrs. Barrows, the new supervisor, whom he sees as the culprit for the layoffs. Mr. Martin is perceived as a quiet, sexist, and weak masculine figure. While Mrs. Barrows is described as independent and outspoken, a combination he finds frustrating. This major character foil, along with the fear of being fired, caused the tension that led to Mr. Martin fantasizing to “rub out Mrs. Ulgine Barrows”(1). Due to the depiction of Mr. Martin as a methodical, weak, wise man it is demonstrated that it was not in his character to kill Mrs. Barrows.
The changes that were brought by Mrs. Barrows irritated and annoyed Mr. Martin. He had a daily routine, a routine which he would not change. Mr. Martin feels Mrs. Barrows as a menacing presence. She had come to alter and change his organized and structured world. Mr. Martin considered that Mrs. Barrows’ “willful, blatant, and persistent attempts destroyed the efficiency and system of F&S”(2). He feels threatened by Mrs. Barrows’ abrasive personality and is disturbed by her erratic behavior. Mr. Martin blames Mrs. Barrows for the disorder being caused at F&S. For example, she had fired several employees and even caused some employees to quit. Mr. Martin starts to become increasingly miserable and displeased with the many modifications that were brought by Mrs. Barrows and rather than speak up about his discomfort he begins to imagine and plan Mrs. Barrows being “rubbed out”.
It was Mr. Martin’s weak character that led to his dependency on his job at F&...


... middle of paper ...


...hodical and efficient way, one that was more consistent with his character.
When Mr. Martin feels that his job, an important part of his life, is threatened he, decides to take action. Mr. Martin even fictionalizes a trial in his head. Through this trial Mr. Martin rationalizes Mrs. Barrows’ death as a justified homicide he states, “Gentlemen of the jury, I demand the death penalty for this horrible person”(2). The contemplation and planning that Mr. Martin put into getting rid of Mrs. Barrows reflects his systematic, wise and weak character, yet the intent of the crime does not. Mr. Martin is an introverted and submissive person therefore, he simply searched for an easier and keener way to correct Mr. Fitweiler’s error. Thus, it is confirmed that Mr. Martin did not intend to kill Mrs. Barrows, but rather wanted to prevent the destruction of the routine he lived by.

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