The Catbird Seat Essay, Research Paper
The Catbird Seat
In ?The Catbird Seat? Erwin Martin, a diligent employee of F & S for twenty-two years, is driven insane by new co-worker, Ulgine Barrows. Mr. Martin is a very conservative man who has never taken a drink or smoked in his life. Mr. Martin despises her ?quacking? voice and ?braying? laugh. She is always asking him strange questions like, ?are you lifting the oxcart out of the ditch? Are you tearing up the pea patch?? He feels she is attempting to destroy the efficiency and system of F & S. Another source of animosity is that Mrs. Barrows is given the title of special adviser to the president of the firm, Mr. Fitweiler. Mrs. Barrows is clearly not qualified for such a position, and only received the job because Mr. Fitweiler likes her. Mr. Martin knows that Mrs. Barrows is about to make some big changes to his department. He devises a scheme to kill Mrs. Barrows, and mislead the investigation by leaving cigarette butts at the scene. On the evening that he had planned to kill Mrs. Barrows, he walked to her house, very cautious of being seen by someone who might recognize him. He rang the doorbell and she invited him inside. She offered him a drink and he requested a scotch-and-soda. He searched for a weapon that he could use to kill her, but he could not find anything that would get the job done. He was a bit intimidated by the size of Mrs. Barrows and did not want to get into a physical confrontation with her. Instead, he told her that he was a heroin user and had a plan to kill Mr. Fitweiler. Upon her arrival at work the next day she immediately told Mr. Fitweiler the whole story. Mr. Fitweiler assumed that she had lost her mind, and even suggested that she see a psychiatrist. Mrs. Barrows was fired from her job and Mr. Martin could not have been more pleased. Two important truths about life are illustrated in ?The Catbird Seat.? From Mr. Martin we see that we do not really know a person unless we know all of their thoughts. From Mrs. Barrows we see that if we make enough enemies someone will eventually make us pay the price.