"The Five Forty Eight" - A Short Story Review Analytical Essay by Nicky

Review of John Cheever's short story "The Five Forty Eight."
# 150456 | 919 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on Feb 17, 2012 in Literature (American)


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Description:

This paper analyzes John Cheever's short story "The Five Forty Eight", showing the impact of the characters' actions on their development and lives. First, the paper gives a basic plot summary, noting that a sexual encounter took place between Mr. Blake and Miss Dent prior to her being fired as his secretary. Then, the paper addressess Miss Dent's threat on Mr. Blake's life, her motive and whether this was an attempt to win back her self-respect or to actually harm her former boss. According to the paper, it is quite conceivable that her intended goal was to place herself in a position of power over Mr. Blake and so earn back the self-respect that was lost when he slept with her and then fired her the next day. The paper addresses Mr. Blake's personality, describing him as someone unable to see beyond his own needs and desires. The paper concludes by contrasting this selfishness to Miss Dent's sense of purpose.

From the Paper:

"Self-respect is a running theme in Miss Dent's rants and writings; several times she insists that the people at the hospital where she had been for eight moths "only wanted to take away my self-respect" (Cheever 32). It is quite conceivable that her intended goal, then, is to place herself in a position of power over Mr. Blake and so earn back the self-respect that was lost when he slept with her and then fired her the next day. Miss Dent in this story has been identified as a "recuperating victim," and this interpretation of her character would certainly bear out this assessment of her character (Facknitz 346). She has noted that during her recent weeks of bed-ridden despondency, all she could think about was planning this night's events; Blake's domination of her had provided an insurmountable barrier, and her control over Blake propels her past it."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Cheever, John. "The Five Forty Eight." The New Yorker, 10 April 1954, pp. 28-34.
  • Facknitz, Mark. "Missing the Train: Raymond Carver's Sequel to John Cheever's 'The Five Forty Eight.'" Studies in Short Fiction, pp. 345-7.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

"The Five Forty Eight" - A Short Story Review (2012, February 17) Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/the-five-forty-eight-a-short-story-review-150456/

MLA Format

""The Five Forty Eight" - A Short Story Review" 17 February 2012. Web. 27 January. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/the-five-forty-eight-a-short-story-review-150456/>

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