A Delicate Balance: A Play Essay

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As with Jerry's parable of the dog in Zoo Story, Tobias' parable of the cat is an analogue of the whole play. The parable contains eleven salient points: (1) the cat existed before Tobias met Agnes; (2) the cat was feminine; (3) she didn't like people; (4) but she was contented with Tobias; (5) one day he noticed that she no longer liked him; (6) he shook her; (7) she bit him; (8) he slapped her; (9) she judged him, accused him of failing; (10) he felt betrayed; (11) he had her killed.

Agnes is the obvious analogue to the cat: she is feminine, she replaces the cat in Tobias' affection, she does not like people ("You would not have a woman left about you—only Claire and Julia . . . not even people"), and she is contented with Tobias (". . . I have reached an age, Tobias, when I wish we were always alone, you and I, without . . . hangers-on . . . or...

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This section contains 1,021 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Delicate Balance: A Play Study Guide
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A Delicate Balance: A Play from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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