The Ups and Downs of the Sexual Movement Displayed in “Lust” by Susan Minot

The Ups and Downs of the Sexual Movement Displayed in “Lust” by Susan Minot

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The short story “Lust” by Susan Minot details the life of a high school girl who has succumbed to the pressure of her surroundings. The pressure of sex by her peers and all of the boys she came across led to the multiple sexual encounters that make up this story. This realistic view on the teenagers of the early 1970’s shows the ups and downs of sexual movement of the 1960’s. In “Lust”, Susan Minot shows the reality of a teenage girl’s life throughout her high school years and the problems her actions give her as she gets older.
Janet M. Ellerby analyzes “Lust” in her essay titled, “Lust”. In this essay, Ellerby goes through and gives a brief but accurate summary of the short story. Then she gives her interpretations of what this story was supposed to mean. She finally talks about the techniques Susan Minot used in order to get the atmosphere and emotions she wanted the reader to experience. I agree with how Ellerby interprets this story and it will be evident throughout this paper. Because I agree with what this essay had to say, I will be able to use it as evidence to support my ideas.
The setting of this story took place in a time where sex was becoming more and more publicized and less taboo. The 1960’s and early 1970’s are commonly associated with things like the hippie movement and the free love movement. These two went together and created a revolution of young people getting high and having casual and meaningless sex with no sort of consequences. In the story, the narrator experiences both of these countercultures. Her “lovers” are random men from her school or just people that she just happened to come across and decided to hook up with. Some of these hook ups were follow ups to some sort of drug usage. This just furthe...


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...fects. No matter where there is love involved or not, the two people will engage in some sort of emotions whether they want to or not. The narrator shows this throughout the story. At first it was all happy and she seemed proud that she was going and sleeping with all of the different boys. As her high school life went on though, she started showing regret in almost every encounter she had, even the one boy that she actually had feelings for ended in a shameful feeling. He just left afterwards and so she just sat there waiting for him to come back (Minot 102). No matter how badly the two parties involved want there to be no strings attached and to just have a simple hook up, someone is going to get emotionally attached. In the time period of this story, the one that got emotionally caught was usually the woman and the narrator of “Lust” shows that almost flawlessly.

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