Janus Essay

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Brent has a Ph.D. in American Culture with a specialization in cinema studies from The University of Michigan. She is a freelance writer and teaches courses in American cinema. In the following essay, she discusses the significance of the bowl as fetish object in "Janus."

In Anne Beattie's short story, "Janus," the bowl functions as a fetish object for Andrea, the story's main character. The term "fetish" refers to small stone carvings of animals that are found in some cultures and are thought to have spiritual powers. Merriam Webster Online defines "fetish" as "an object believed to have magical power to protect or aid its owner."

More generally, Webster defines fetish as "a material object regarded with superstitious or extravagant trust or reverence." A fetish can also be defined as "an object of irrational reverence or obsessive devotion." (The term fetish also has sexual connotations in Freudian...

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This section contains 1,872 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Janus Study Guide
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Janus from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.