The Catbird Seat Essay

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In the following essay, Underwood examines some of the deeper devices Thurber employs in the story.

Critics of James Thurber's "The Catbird Seat" invariably refer to his humorous tone, his control of language, and his effective characterization in this tight-plotting short story. But this is not all, one needs to dig deeper to unearth what devices Thurber uses to make this story the success it is. One device in particular has been overlooked by critics. A biologist would not have been so negligent: he would have looked at the catbird's seat and would have seen an instant correlation to the events and characters in Thurber's story.

Anyone who picks up a copy of Peterson's A Field Guide to the Birds of Texas (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1963) will find on page 182 a description of the catbird. This bird is unobtuse, "skulks in undergrowth," and is hard to rile. However...

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This section contains 709 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Catbird Seat Study Guide
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The Catbird Seat from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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