The Symbolism of the Purse in Theft by Katherine Anne Porter
735 Words3 Pages
The purse in Katherine Anne Porters' short story, "Theft", is linked to several episodes and in each event reveals the main character's inner personality. The first episode is her encounters with three men. The second event is the theft of her purse. Lastly, the protagonist confronts the thief. In each episode the main character displays her intimate personality.
After an afternoon cocktail party, a Latin man named Camilo escorts her to the subway station through the rain. Camilo makes several gracious gestures to try and pay for her, but she refuses, as she is afraid he may fall on the rainy steps when returning. She states that he made an effort to small courtesies but ignored "the larger and more troublesome ones." Here we begin to see the character's self-pity, and again, without knowing that she is watching, Camilo takes off his hat to protect it from the rain. She believes that when he wakes up in the morning and sees the ruined hat he will associate the misery of the hat with her.
Next she meets Roger, one of her playwright/director friends, and offers to sha...