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Brett Pais Nate Burrow Pd.1

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1 Brett Pais Nate Burrow Pd.1
The Catbird Seat Brett Pais Nate Burrow Pd.1

2 Characters Erwin Martin-Round Character: Mr. Martin is well-mannered, but as the author details Erwin's thoughts, we begin to discover that he has hatred for some people, like Mrs. Barrows There is little detail about Mr. Martin other than he is an ordinary little man.

3 Ulgine Barrows Round Character: She is hated by many. Has fired three employees since being appointed special advisor. Several others have left because of her attitude. She is an annoyance to many. Barrows has a loud "quacking voice and braying laugh," and has a habit of repeating the phrases of her favorite baseball announcer, Red Barber.

4 Mr. Fitweiler Flat character- Aging president of the firm of F&S. Mr. Fitweiler is formal. After twenty-two years of working together he still calls Mr. Martin by his last name, and Martin calls him “sir.”

5 Plot Mr. Martin has been working at F & S for twenty two years as head of the filing department. Just recently his boss, Mr. Fitweiler hired Ulgine Barrows, a lady he had met a party, to be his special advisor. In the beginning of the story she asks what is the need for all the filing cabinets. This is insulting to Martin because it is questioning his existence in the company. Mr. Martin cannot tolerate this woman and has come up with a plan to kill her.

6 Plot Continued One night Mr. Martin travels over to Mrs. Barrows home. He rings the buzzer to her apartment and she invites him in. He acts very skittish, and has a loss of words. When he calms down, he and Mrs. Barrows begin to talk, and have a drink. Martin is questioning his decision to kill her, and soon makes up his mind that he will not. Instead he tells her that he plans to blow up Mr. Fitweiler, but only when he is high on heroin.

7 Plot Conclusion This upsets her greatly, and she asks him to leave he house. Mr. Martin is now “sitting Catbird Seat”. Because of his reputation, no one will believe her accusations. The next morning at the office, Mrs. Barrows confronts Mr. Fitweiler about Martin's plan. He thinks that she has physiological problems, and thinks she hallucinated all that she told him. The story ends with Mrs. Barrows being escorted out by security, and Mr. Fitweiler asking Mr. Martin if he would dismiss this incident.

8 Theme “The faults of the woman as a woman kept chattering on in his mind like an unruly witness. She had, for almost two years now, baited him. In the halls, in the elevator, even in his own office, into which she romped now and then like a circus horse, she was constantly shouting these silly questions at him. "Are you lifting the oxcart out of the ditch? Are you tearing up the pea patch? Are you hollering down the rain barrel? Are you scraping around the bottom of the pickle barrel? Are you sitting in the catbird seat?" In the Catbird Seat, and many of the stories written by Thurber, the theme is about the struggle for men and woman to understand each other. Generally in Thurber’ stories, the conflict is always between a quiet nervous man, and a obnoxious domineering woman. This is the case in “The Catbird Seat”. As said in the plot, Mr. Martin cannot stand Mrs. Barrows.

9 Literary Devices Dramatic Irony- In Mr. Martin’s workplace, many people find him as a well-established, quiet man. Thurber reveals to us that really it is a cover-up, and it pays off in the end of the story. Climax-The climax of this story is when Mr. Martin arrives at Mrs. Barrows home and comes up with his new plan, rather than the murder he'd intended to rid himself of this annoying woman. Situational Irony- The phrase “sitting in the catbird seat”, means to be sitting pretty. For most of the story that described Mrs. Barrows. But as the story ended, Mr. Martin didn’t have to kill Mrs. Barrows, out-smarted her, gave her a taste of her own medicine, and he is now “sitting in the catbird seat”.

10 Elements of Author’s Writing Style
James Thurber uses humor to illustrate the frailties of human beings and a New Yorker style of writing. For example, he sometimes writes his stories like a reporter, It was eighteen minutes after nine when Mr. Martin turned the Twelfth Street” and “Forty-five minutes later, Mrs. Barrows left the presidents office and went into her own, shutting the door. It wasn’t until a half hour later, Mrs. Barrows sent for Mr. Martin.

11 Continued An example of humor can been seen on page 81, when Thurber talks about Mr. Martin going to the most popular cigar store at the busiest time of the day, even though Mr. Martin does not smoke. Another example of Thurber’s humor can be found on page 89, when Mrs. Barrows yells at Mr. Martin about him drinking and smoking at her apartment. “You drank and smoked at my apartment, and you know it! You called Mr. Fitweiler an old windbag and said you were going to blow him up when you got coked to the gills on your heroin”.

12 Year Written “The Catbird Seat” was one of four stories Thurber published in 1942, and it was included in the volume, Best American Short Stories of 1943.

13 Something about James Thurber
Thurber had two brother, William and Robert. Once, while playing a game of William Tell, his brother William shot James in the eye with an arrow. Because of the lack of medical technology, Thurber lost his eye. This injury would later cause him to be almost entirely blind.

14 Something we related the short story to….
The Catbird Seat can be related to the popular TV show, Everybody Loves Raymond because Ray, a father who will do anything to keep the peace, is a little bit like Mr. Martin who does not like change. Ulgine Barrows threatens his well-ordered existence.

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