Janus Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Janus.
This section contains 689 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Aesthetics

Although it might not be apparent on first reading, "Janus" can be perceived as Beattie's philosophy of aesthetics. Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy having to do with the nature of beauty, art, and taste as well as with the creation of art.

As a minimalist, Beattie has been derided by critics who find her prose to be flat and lacking in beauty. However, her supporters maintain that the gaps she leaves in her stories allow the reader to participate in the creation of art. In "Janus," Beattie's fictional bowl bears uncanny resemblance to her own theory of the short story.

For example, in her opening lines Beattie writes: "The bowl was perfect. Perhaps it was not what you'd select if you faced a shelf of bowls, and not the sort of thing that would inevitably attract a lot of attention at a crafts fair, yet it had...

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This section contains 689 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Janus Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Janus from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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