Ella stays with him despite him constantly cheating. He

Ella Rabbani Litwack 9 1/11/18 In the story the Five-Forty-Eight, John Cheever, introduces readers to a reprehensible man, Blake, who’s egotism drives him to jet set around the world collecting different women, sleeping with them, and after leaving them alone like litter. He has a good job and makes good money; everything a man needs. Not to mention the fact that he also has a beautiful wife, who fights to love him and stays with him despite him constantly cheating. He simply does not care about anything but his own pleasure. Throughout the story, the author uses many literary devices such as flashbacks, metaphors, imagery, and foreshadowing which imply that Blake’s narcissism drives him to remain an immobile character despite knowing that he’s destroyed the lives of so many women. There is an instance in the story where the author uses a flashback to a situation with his wife to show that Blake is heartless and can’t possibly love. After his wife forgot to prepare dinner for him one night, Blake shut her out for two weeks. He completely ignored her and wanted nothing to do with her, all because his drudge, if you will, didn’t make him dinner. His wife is heartbroken and begs on her knees for forgiveness from him. He shows no concern whatsoever for her. She tries so hard to mend their relationship and even goes to their next-door neighbor, Mrs. Compton, for advice. Blake clearly doesn’t care about his marriage, rather, he cares about the physical beauty of his wife. This is just one example in the story of how Blake makes women feel helpless and powerless compared to himself. It may have seemed that it’s the end of the story when Blake is riding the five-forty-eight train trying to avoid his stalker, Miss Dent. He spots a yellow light breaking through the clouds which gives off a sense of final freedom. In this moment, imagery creates the impression that he has successfully lost track of his stalker just as much as his stalker has lost track of him; but in this very moment, Miss Dent calls out to him and sits beside him. He is trapped. Miss Dent tries to make Blake feel sympathy for her through telling him what her life has been like since their one night stand; how it mentally destroyed her. As he begins to gain some insight into her problem, Blake reaches his stop, Shady Hill. The name of the place Blake comes from, Shady Hill, is foreshadowing that Blake isn’t going to change. The name Shady Hill creates imagery of a dead place; a place of nothingness or a place that was forgotten.  Blake is literally dead inside. The place where Blake comes from portrays the person he has become. Miss Dent holds Blake at gunpoint when he wants to get off at his stop, and exclaims to him that she wants to talk to him before he leaves. All Blake knows at that very moment is that if he does what she says, he will survive, just as anyone would when under that type of pressure. So Blake is in survival mode and does just as Miss Dent asks of him.Miss Dent further says, “I won’t harm you if you let me talk.” Blake realizes Miss Dent’s motive in that very instant. She didn’t want to kill him, rather, she wanted to change him. Blake faked his way through this situation; he did what he knew Miss Dent wanted him to do. He manipulated her into thinking he was a changed man; “He stretched out on the ground, weeping. ‘Now, I feel better,’ she said.’ ” As Miss Dent leaves, he fakes to get up in pain: “He raised himself out of the dust—warily at first, until he saw by her attitude, her looks, that she had forgotten him; that she had completed what she had wanted to do, and that he was safe. He got to his feet and picked up his hat from the ground where it had fallen and walked home.”  Blake gets up from the ground as the same man. He hasn’t changed at all. He doesn’t see Miss Dent any different than when he seduced her. He saw her as any other woman he ever seduced; small, powerless and harmless.

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