The Catbird Seat And The Gioconda Smile Essay

The Catbird Seat And The Gioconda Smile Essay

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There can be similarities between two completely different things, such as people, ideas, or stories. Let 's take the example of the “The Catbird Seat” and “The Gioconda Smile.” Even though both short stories have completely different plots, they also have common traits. One of these common traits are their themes. Two significant themes that appear in both “The Catbird Seat” and “The Gioconda Smile” are “All’s Fair in Love and War” and “Jealousy can be a destructive force.”
The first theme is “All’s Fair in Love and War.” This is a significant theme in both short stories because love and competition play a large role in the plot of these stories. In “The Gioconda Smile,” Henry Hutton is pursuing a romantic relationship with Miss Janet Spence, a lonely, thirty-year-old unmarried woman. While this is going on, he also has a young mistress, Doris, and an ill wife, Emily Hutton. One day, when Janet is invited to dine with Mr. and Mrs. Hutton, she skillfully poisons Mrs. Hutton when getting her medicine in an attempt to have Henry all to herself. After Emily’s funeral, Mr. Hutton is unexpectedly receives a declaration of love from Miss Spence. He is unable to reciprocate her feelings and flees, to only propose to Doris and fly off to Italy. When Miss Spence hears about this, she goes on a jealous rampage, spreading the rumor that it was in fact Henry who killed his wife with arsenic, and when arsenic is found in her autopsy, he is tried and convicted of murder. This shows that in an attempt to gain the sole affection and attention of Mr. Hutton, Ms. Spence went as far as to kill his wife, who was already ill with liver disease. Her plan, however, backfired because he had a mistress whom he loved and cared for more than her,...


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...at which is actually evidently stated. In the story, it is common knowledge that Mr. Martin doesn’t smoke or drink, but yet, that same knowledge is the reason Mrs. Barrows was terminated from her job. Mr. Martin strategically planned to allow only Mrs. Barrows see him drink and smoke in order to speak negatively about the law firm and their boss. The next day at work, Mr. Martin continued his usual routine and when Mrs. Barrows tried to accuse him of slander against the company, Mr. Fitweiler didn’t believe him. He knew that in the last 22 years that Mr. Martin worked in the company, he has never smoked or had alcohol, so he felt that she was having a severe mental breakdown and that she shouldn’t work for him anymore.
In conclusion, the two short stories with very different plots have a common ground. Both stories have common themes that influence the plot greatly.

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