Comparing Dr. Heidegger's Experiment And The Catbird Seat

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In short stories, different points of view can be extremely effective when trying to get your message across. While both of the short stories described here use third person limited omniscient, they use it very differently. I believe that Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment uses it more effectively than The Catbird Seat in giving the reader an understanding of the story. Firstly, Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment provides much more backstory. We also get a clearer understanding of the characters, and finally, we get more attached to the story when we can understand what’s happening. Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment begins the story by giving us all of the backstory that we need in order to understand why the story is taking place, while The Catbird Seat seems…show more content…
In Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment, because of the two points mentioned above, it’s very easy to grow attached to the characters and their stories. Towards the end, when Hawthorne says “His guests shivered again. A strange chillness, whether of the body or spirit they could not tell, was creeping gradually over them all. They gazed at one another, and fancied that each fleeting moment snatched away a charm, and left a deepening furrow where none had been before. Was it an illusion? Had the changes of a lifetime been crowded into so brief a space, and were they now four aged people, sitting with their old friend, Dr. Heidegger?” (Hawthorne, 6-7) We begin to feel upset for the characters who finally got their happiness only to have it ripped away from them once more, even if they did deserve it. We can relate to them, and imagine if we had a change to return to the happiest points in our lives, and then find out it was all a lie. In The Catbird Seat, the reader is far more likely to feel removed from the text because it’s harder to understand what is causing Mr. Martin to feel the way that he does. For example, it’s hard to connect to him during his happy ending, when Mrs. Barrows says. “I'd think you'd planned it all. Sticking your tongue out, saying you were sitting in the catbird seat, because you thought no one would believe me when I told it! My God, it's really too perfect!" (Thurber, 5) It’s difficult to share in Mr. Martin’s sense of success if you never really understood in the first place exactly why he would want to get her fired. Even though The Catbird Seat had the potential for us to be happy with the ending, it was not executed as well as it was in Dr. Heidegger’s

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