Janus And Rdquo By Ann Beattie Summary

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A World Cut In Half In the short story “Janus”, by Ann Beattie, is about a bowl and a woman that seem entirely unrelated. The first is an inanimate object, a bowl, and the second is Andrea, a successful real estate agent. Throughout the story, the author uses the powerful element of symbolism to show how a simple object can help the reader understand the internal struggle of a complex individual. An obsession with holding onto a past relationship can lead to insanity. A symbol is a powerful way to replace in a few words what would normally take pages to accomplish. This symbolic usage of the bowl shows a struggling relationship between Andrea and her past. Whenever Andrea is showing a home, she places it on a table, where it remains empty, with nothing else…show more content…
Her relationship with are husband is empty and without meaning. The bowl itself is empty and meaningless. Andrea is always worried about losing the bowl which symbolizes her fear of losing her lover and her husband. The bowl represents love: “The bowl was just a bowl. But she did not believe that for a second. What she believed was that it was something she loved,” (Beattie 282). The author’s description of the bowls physical appearance symbolizes a sense of purpose and absence. It is “a paradox of the bowl,” that symbolizes a void and fulfillment at the same time (Beattie 280). The bowl is also compared to the horizon, which, staying with the perfect simplicity of the bowl, symbolizes that the bowl is a whole world; whereas the opposite symbolizes emptiness and despair (Beattie 283). If the outside of the bowl is round and smooth of this may also symbolize perfection while the inside and remains empty waiting for something that isn’t present. Andrea states that the bowl was meant to be empty which in fact was its

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