Characterism In The Five Forty Eight By John Cheever

1010 Words 5 Pages
In the captivating short story of The Five Forty Eight by John Cheever, a businessman named Blake leaves from work and notices that he is being followed. His former secretary, Miss Dent, manages to stalk him from the city to his train, despite his efforts of dodging her. The woman seeks revenge for his callous behavior that has damaged her emotionally and mentally. Throughout the story, readers are exposed to what is beneath Blake’s facade of superiority. Through the story’s setting, disposition of characters, and characters’ actions, The Five Forty Eight reveals the protagonist Blake’s misanthropical, egocentric character.

Readers get a glimpse of the protagonist’s egocentrism through his and Miss Dent’s actions. “He urged her to; that was, after all, what he had come for. … When he put on his clothes again, an hour or so later, she was weeping. He felt too
…show more content…
“...Blake began to relax as soon as he tasted his Gibson and looked around at the common, mostly not-young faces that surrounded him and that were worried, if they were worried at all…” (370). This quote suggests that Blake enjoys having a drink alone, separating himself from others. In doing so and with problems of his own, he selfishly finds comfort within himself as he watches strangers who seem to be troubled. “The car smelled like some dismal classroom. The passengers seemed asleep and apart, and Blake felt that he might never escape the smell of heat and wet clothing and the dimness of the light” (379). Blake has placed himself in this situation of dejection and dismay. He cannot find hope in the somber environment as a result of deliberately distancing himself from others. Through his perspective of the setting, Blake reveals his misanthropic, egoistic character while implying that he has a tendency to be anti-social for his own

Related Documents