The Short Story "Cat Person" by Kristen Roupenian

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The Short Story “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian

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The genre of short stories have emerged as one of the most popular ones in the recent times and it is a reflection of this particular fact many writers chose this particular cannon of Literature to express themselves. It is generally seen that most of these short stories are reflections of these writers on some of the contemporary issues which affects society in common. The short story Cat Person by Kristen Roupenian is one such piece of literary work which tries to explore the previously unexplored side of the modern day dating systems with subtle emphasis on the feminist perspective. This story gives an account of the present day dating system from the feminist perspective.

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The short story under discussion here tries to show the short but unhappy affair which Margot and Robert have and also sheds light on some of the gender roles which people from both genders expect of one another (Roupenian). In short story, Margot has been depicted by Kristen Roupenian as a typical teenager with romantic expectations of her own. To some extent she can be said to a caring as well as thinking individual whereas Robert, on the other hand, is being shown as a sensitive introvert who had to make an effort to live up to the expectations of other people. Thus, in this particular respect, the short story can be seen as a reflection of the author on the concept of appearance and reality.

Both the characters depicted in the short story have romantic expectations from each other however it is seen that the expectations of the both of the characters from each other gets fulfilled only in bits and pieces and thus both the characters get end up getting dissatisfied with the affair which they have with each other. For example, on the very few occasions on which Margot and Robert meet each other, Margot keeps on searching for the witty and interesting Robert who replies to her text messages in the introvert and sensitive Robert who is spending time with her (Roupenian). Robert, on the other hand, has created a mental image of an intelligent and understanding person for Margot and during his meetings with her he always keeps on searching for that particular person within the girl who is with him. Thus, it would be apt to say that the short under discussion here shows the pitfalls of the modern day dating system.

The short story Cat Person is redolent with the various precepts of the concept of feminism. For example, one of the most common things which a reader is likely to come across while reading the short story under discussion here is the suppressed language which Margot uses when she is with Robert. HГ©lГЁne Cixous is of the viewpoint that there is an essential connection between a woman body, whose sexual pleasure has been repressed and denied expression and women writing (Murfin). It is significant to note that in the short story under discussion here Margot sexual pleasure indeed has been repressed as it is seen that after reaching the house of Robert and seeing him naked she feels revulsion for him yet she undergoes the whole ritual of sex with him. Furthermore, at the end of the short story she is being called a whore by Robert for doing the thing which she really wanted to do (Roupenian).

In addition to this, during the entire course of the story it is found that it is Margot who always has to take the initiative to carry on the conversation which they are having and had to go out of her way to understand the feelings of Robert and the things which might please him. Furthermore, during the entire course of the story Robert is seen to display protective feelings towards Margot which can easily fall under the category of patriarchal control. Furthermore, the initial lines of the story are also redolent with the concept of feminism wherein Margot says that to get extra tips from her customers she has to take the help of flirting Flirting with her customers was a habit she’d picked up back when she worked as a barista, and it helped with tips (Roupenian). The sex scene is also redolent with various images of feminism and leads the readers to thing Margot is just a sexual object to Robert as he keeps on saying that always wanted to fuck a girl with nice tits(Roupenian). This sentence also makes the readers think whether it was really emotions which made Robert to have the affair or just the attractive and young body of Margot. Thus, a patriarchal language is used through the course of the entire narrative.

To conclude, the genre of short stories provides a gateway to the writers wherein they can express themselves in the most pertinent manner about the themes as well as topics which they think are important to the people. The short story Cat Person is an example of one such work where in the writer Kristen Roupenian not only uses the genre of short stories to shed light on the present day dating system but at the same time to voice her opinions about the concept of feminism.

Works cited

  1. Works Cited
  2. Roupenian, K. (2017). Cat Person. The New Yorker.
  3. Humm, M. (2012). Feminism and Literature. In The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory (pp. 445-463). Oxford University Press.
  4. Murfin, R. (1987). Feminist Criticism and Literature. Critical Inquiry, 13(3), 557-575.
  5. Cixous, H. (1976). The Laugh of the Medusa. In Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society (Vol. 1, No. 4, pp. 875-893). University of Chicago Press.
  6. Green, M. (2017). Kristen Roupenian on the Self-Deceptions of Dating. The Atlantic.
  7. Yong, E. (2018). How the Internet Talks About "Cat Person". The New Yorker.
  8. Bustillos, M. (2017). Kristen Roupenian’s "Cat Person" and the Impulse Toward Confession. The New Yorker.
  9. Galli, L. (2017). Kristen Roupenian Discusses the Twists and Turns of "Cat Person". Vice.
  10. Freccero, C. M. (1998). Queer Feminism in Cat Person. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 4(3), 343-356.
  11. D'Ambrosio, C. (2018). "Cat Person" and the Limits of the Debate Over the Story's "Goodness". Literary Hub.
  12. Hancock, M. (2018). "Cat Person" and the Subtle Art of Female Self-Loathing. Electric Literature.

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