A Modern Fable: “The Catbird Seat” by James Thurber Essay

1291 Words6 Pages
This short story entitled “The Catbird Seat” is a modern fable. The definition of a fable is a simple story with animal characters in which the big strong animal is bested, overcome by, or made a fool of by the weaker character. A modern fable is a fable that takes place in modern times. This short story by James Thurber takes place in New York City around the 1940s. Many fables written before are very much alike “The Catbird Seat” when it comes to being a fable. For example, in “The Tortoise and the Hare” the cocky, arrogant rabbit keeps on boasting about how speedy he is to the scrawny, sluggish turtle. In the end, the turtle overcomes the pompous rabbit in a race because the rabbit underestimated the turtle. Also, in “Henny Penny”,…show more content…
The “old quack” would always be boasting about her ducky first-floor apartment in the darling three-story brick building to her co-workers. Mr. Fitweiler, the boss, hired “Ugline” not because of her fantastic skills in the subject but to return the favor of how she helped him. Mr. Fitweiler, resembling a Rottweiler, was confronted by a drunken man mistaking him for a Midwestern football coach. The mammoth and masculine Ms. Barrows protected him from the drunken man. This incident makes Ms. Barrows appear even more oppressive and burly. Mr. Fitweiler makes up the post of Special Advisor and hires Ms. Barrows as the newly appointed Special Advisor to return the favor to her. She started infiltrating many departments in the company and firing many workers. Even more employees quit because they couldn’t stand her. This strapping woman is the bigger, stronger, and aggravating character in this modern fable. Mr. Martin is the oppressed and weaker Henny Penny in this fable. Mr. Martin has been working for the company of F. & S. for twenty two years as head of the filing department always filing everything in enormous filing cabinets. Many know him as the man who neither smokes nor drinks. Mr. Fitweiler and the late Sam Schlosser, the F. and S. of F. & S., praised Mr.

    More about A Modern Fable: “The Catbird Seat” by James Thurber Essay

      Get Access