A Justifiable Murder? an Innocent Murderer?

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"Mr. Martin looked quickly around the living room for the weapon," (21) explains the narrator. Who is this Mr. Martin and why does he need a weapon? He must be in despite peril. In James Thurber’s 1945 "The Catbird Seat," the protagonist Erwin Martin appears to be a very careful, studious man who is a long time employee of F&S. He values precision and organization, the narrator explains, "He resented the element of imprecision, the margin of guesswork that entered into the business" (18). With these qualities, an aura of innocence appears around him in the reader’s mind. Not only his personality, but also his trivial patterns help create naïve charm, such as drinking the childlike milk, "Sitting in his apartment, drinking a glass of milk . . ." Even the "F" in F&S, Mr. Fitweiler, will sing Martin praises. He declares, "Man is fallible, but Martin isn’t" (18). Because of this statement, we are inclined to believe Martin is an infallible man that just has his own idiosyncrasies and particular methods. His apparent teetotalism, stout resignation to no smoking, and a general averageness only add to his perceived infallibility. So when our beloved Martin has such tenacious negative feelings towards a Ms. Barrows, we immediately conclude she must deserve it. After all, he doesn’t make a mistake. But should we conclude something about him instead? Could Martin really be god incarnate? Even though Martin is painted as an innocent victim that resembles virtuous perfection, we learn more as the narrative progresses and as we examine him closer. Although we are led to believe that Martin is victim that rises up as a justice seeker for the greater good, we know from a close examination, that this is not the case. Even though he "had always maintained an outward appearance of polite tolerance," Martin was a murderous plotter, but with good intentions, right? The valiant efforts

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