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John Cheever: The Five-Forty- Eight | Analysis

John Cheever's "The Five-Forty- Eight" explores how actions have outcomes through his portrayal of the character Blake. Blake is launched in the storyline as a heartless, selfish, and immoral man who's the victim of a stalking by an clearly upset girl. While hitched he has already established a one nights stand with Neglect Dent, his secretary, and then he previously her fired. He thought that 'Her diffidence, the sensation of deprivation in her point of view, promised to protect him from implications' (Cheever 319). Unfortunately for him, Pass up Dent is mentally impaired. Therefore, she looks for revenge by stalking him and then possessing him at gun-point over a teach near his home. Through the character Blake, Cheever uses irony, imagery, and flashbacks to stage this story in order to show that activities have consequences, but not all who experience aftermath, even negative aftermath, differ from it.

Blake, just like a predator, looks for out weakened women to quench his sexual desire for foods, and he has no emotional attachment to some of them. The storyline demonstrates he observed Pass up Dent for awhile before he decided to use her being lonesome to his benefit. Harold Bloom's brief summary of the story sets it well; Bloom says that "He is enthusiastic about his secretary as a result of electricity that he has over her, because she imagines his life as 'full of friendships, money, and a big and adoring family' and herself has a 'peculiar feeling of deprivation. ' " He has received used to this scandalous life style because Pass up Dent is not the first female to be seduced by him: "A lot of the many women he had known have been picked because of their insufficient self-esteem. "(Cheever 319) It is not shocking that he commits adultery because he will not value his relationship and will not care how it will affect his better half.

Through Cheever's use of flashbacks, moments from a character's earlier that identify who the type used to be or some significant background information about this figure that explains why the character is presently, a reader can easily see who Blake is really. He reveals Blake's relationship along with his partner through Blake's flashbacks. With this flashback, Blake is committed to Louise Blake for possibly 8-10 years. Also, the reader is unveiled to Mrs. Compton, Louise's neighbor and confidant, whom Louise Blake would go to whenever she was troubled by her husband's quarrelling. Obviously, he has decided not to speak to her for 14 days because she did not fix him supper one evening. Although she cries and pleads for forgiveness, her tears do not penetrate his concrete heart and soul. Now that she is old, it seems as if the only thing that captivated him was her physical beauty. He has lost the love she believes he might have had for her at first. A detailed, tearful, and destroyed center is not important to Blake. Through flashbacks like the one just described, the reader observes that Blake hasn't modified because his wife's tears aren't the only ones he has triggered.

A prior flashback allows the reader know that following the one night stand Blake experienced with Neglect Dent, she "was weeping. He noticed too contented and warm and sleepy to worry much about her tears" (Cheever 319). Despite Neglect Dent's crying, probably as a result of sense of betrayal no future with her enthusiast, Blake remains content. He also has demolished all possible friendships with his neighbors and folks, yet he's still satisfied.

Blake's unfeeling frame of mind is part of his non-changing, or static personality.

In this history, Cheever uses situational irony showing that Blake's activities have not eliminated unpunished. Situational irony is when the expected end result is different than the real outcome. He does indeed this in a canny fashion. Inside the report to evade Neglect Dent, Blake had taken the local teach 'The Five-Forty-Eight', where he's sitting in an automobile alone wanting to avoid 'speculation or remorse' of Neglect Dent. While seated, he sees a piece of yellowish light in the respite of clouds that could normally signify freedom, a safe haven, or refuge. However, the storyline does not end there. Someone phone calls him, which is Miss Dent. The irony is present in that he seems to have effectively evaded his stalker but evidently he hasn't and Cheever unveils precisely how big of an trap he is in as she sits next to him. Ironically, his neighbors are in the same coach car, nevertheless they reasonably pay no attention to him but he needs their help. He's trapped with his 'crazy' stalker that obviously wants to "eradicate him from the world--not to remove him bodily, but to improve his soul. Despite the frenzied dynamics of her accusation, she actually is quite exact in her common sense, ". . . if there are devils in this world, if there are people nowadays who symbolize evil, could it be our responsibility to exterminate them? I know that you always prey on weak people. . . " He feels nothing and she seems too much. "'(Bloom) Oddly, although inspected by a gun, this normally unnerving situation does not faze him.

To help him understand her hurt, she instructs him of her ruined life after him. She commences to state how sick she's been which she has had no job since. Then she explains to him that she should kill him and her only punishment would to be readmitted into the mental clinic. She makes him read a letter that she was too 'unwell' to email away to him while keeping the pistol to his abdominal. Soon the teach finds Shady Hill, his stop. Ironically, the name Shady Hill indicates nothingness, and a place that readers liken to a ignored graveyard where nothing changes. This is the place Blake originates from. Here they log off and Miss Dent forces him to the bottom and after overlooking her speech for the coach on the third scream, "Kneel down!' He got on his knees. " (Cheever 325) Now it would seem that she has taught him a lessons.

Examination of the text before and after his prostration reveal why Blake got down on his knees and didn't escape Miss Dent to begin with. Before they exit the train in lines 30-35, Pass up Dent interrupts his get away from, "Don't try to escape me. I have a pistol and I'll have to kill you and I don't want to. All I wish to do is talk with you. Don't move or I'll kill you. Don't, don't, don't!" (Cheever) Then Blake's body language shows he has inserted survival mode. The only path to endure at gun point is to do the actual gun holder desires one to do and that is what he have. Then after they exit the train and he prostrates himself in lines 60-end, she says, "if you carry out what I say, I won't damage you" Now, he is aware of he will not die if he will as she says. Then he realizes her purpose "I really don't want to harm you, I wish to help you, however when I see that person is seems to me that I cannot help you" "if I called showing you the right way, you wouldn't heed me" Put that person in the dirt!"(Cheever) She possessed to say this twice to make him undertake it. In between that he previously time to think about what he had to do to make her think that he was a adjusted man which her mission was accomplished. He recognized that what he have next would fulfill her "He stretched out on the floor, weeping. 'Now, Personally i think better, ' she said. ' "When Neglect Dent leaves, he fakes to get up "warily at first, until he observed by her frame of mind, her looks, that she got ignored him; that she got completed what she acquired wished to do, and that he was safe. He surely got to his feet and picked up his hat from the ground where it had fallen and strolled home. " These activities show no remorse alternatively, this play that he performed so well fulfilled its purpose, self- preservation.

In "The Five-Forty-Eight" Blake is launched as a helpless victim of a stalking by a deranged female. John Cheever uses informational flashbacks, situational irony, and clever imagery to show that activities have outcomes. Blake has tricked and seduced his secretary, Miss Dent, whom he had fired, into developing a one evening stand with him, while he was hitched. This action along with numerous others shows that harming others is no issue for him. The backdrop information implies that he is continuing to grow a stubborn stone heart and he is a static figure. Harold puts it best in his summary "But then the gun is taken away, he gets up, and sees that Pass up Dent is "small, common, and safe. " These words, in conjunction with his final action, and long lifestyle of heartless selfishness and callous abuse of others shows the reader that "Blake goes up from the bottom as the same man. " (Bloom)

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