The Satire of Lorriw Moore's How

1143 Words5 Pages
Two Beats One and Three Lorrie Moore writes an extremely maddening short story in the few pages of How. She quickly enrages the reader with the subject of the directions she gives in such a way that in How most readers would tag on the end of the title to not Behave in a Relationship. Moore gives directions in second person where to find a man as a romantic partner, fall in love with him, have a few affairs, and then leave him while he is undergoing a cancer diagnosis, with a few less meaningful events in between. Though who is at fault for the break-up is a point of contention in the analysis of How, the far more prominent issue is discussing whether or not second person is effective in making How a successful piece of satire and a generally good piece of literature. And through even relatively shallow literary analysis, one would be able to see that such a story as this is better off in second person as opposed to third or first person for a few reasons. If one were to examine the context in which the short story was published and even the story on a purely macroscopic level, it should be quite apparent that a story such as this is a piece of satire. Through the rather extreme story of a woman making every wrong choice possible in a relationship and reacting sometimes even worse, this story is a much more intellectual piece of satire than the average article on The Onion. If one takes into account the time period that it was written (2007) and that during that time and some years before, there was a genre of articles that could be labeled ‘self-help’. Almost all of these self-help articles were/are written in the second person, informing the reader of how to be a better romantic partner, make him/her like you, or build more muscle or lose weight. The particular satire that How is making a jest at the self-help crazy of the early 21st century with all the
Open Document