The way Susan Minot depicts the main heroine in her short story "Lust" is not similar to those, employed by other writers. The author does not depict a physical appearance of the main female character. Susan Minot elaborates the main character through her relationships with other people in the story. Her own feelings and actions help us create her image. The narrator is not identified either. Faceless and nameless narrator helps the author depict the character and develop the story. In contradistinction to the story “Lust”, the story “Some Things I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You” by Ted Thompson is very detailed. The author gives names to major characters, and he elaborates everything. This helps develop the theme and plot of the book. Therefore, the paper aims to contrast the aspect of women and relations on the basis of the stories “Lust” by Susan Minot and “Some Things I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You” by Ted Thompson.
At the beginning of the story “Lust”, the narrator does not show the feelings of the heroine and we know nothing about her sexual experience. Later we understand why she is driven to all her men. The reason is gratification. Each sexual affair has its own paragraph in the story. It is imperative to note that the narrator is emotionally removed from the experience. The author shows how helpless the main character is to the men in her life, and that she is emotionally broken into small pieces. Nevertheless, the heroine admits her helplessness, although indirectly: "For a long time I had Phillip on the brain," she admits. "The less they notice you, the more you got them on the brain" (Minot 50). Susan Minot describes the main character not only in the bad way. She was good at certain things, for example, the author gives information about Whiffed Ball. However, even when a child, the heroine had to show her underwear to the boys who would hold her legs. When she grew older, her lifestyle became promiscuous. Sex prevented her from succeeding in her study. She could not pay enough attention to school.
The atmosphere of the emotional distance is created by the description of the authority figures in the life of the narrator. The heroine is not interested in her family at all. "Parents never really know what's going on," she tells us. "Especially when you're away at school most of the time"(Minot 50). The main character is a closed book to everybody.
In contradistinction, Thompsons portrays a boy named Cuppo who is looking for his love. Cuppo is serious about finding the right woman. He stares at Agatha all the time, though they know each other since childhood. Cuppo is a secretive boy, who hides his attraction towards Agatha. He states “Here's also the truth: I was Agatha's only friend. And after school, what Cuppo and Sausage didn't know — or chose not to know — was that I spent hours with her.” It can be discerned that Cuppo takes his time to know Agatha better before going into a sexual relationship (Thompson 66). Furthermore, Cuppo acts responsibly by ensuring that the relationship with Agatha does not interfere with his school program. The main heroine of the story “Lust”, who started to get into the relationship at a tender age of fifteen, was not looking for love but only for pleasure.
In the story “Lust”, the narrator is presented as a person who does not often think about her life. She is depicted as the lady who is easily influenced by men. The main heroine is a weak-willed person. Her weakness influences not only her relationships but all her life. That is the reason why she finds herself helpless in the hands of men. This is in sharp contrast with Cuppo who is more mature and responsible. He takes calculated steps towards getting into the relationship and knowing his sexuality. Cuppo is a focused boy who engages his parents whenever a critical decision is to be taken.
The main heroine of the short story "Lust" managed to make some decisions about her life. She realized her mistakes, but it was too late to change something. Nevertheless, she understood that she would rather open her legs than her heart. The narrator has admitted to herself that she is broken into small pieces. She still carries out all men’s commands, even though she knows that it is wrong. The main heroine is weak and, as a result, "seems to have disappeared" (Minot 55). In contradistinction to the main heroine of the story “Lust”, Cuppo from the story “Some Things I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You” understands the consequences of his actions. He is a strong-willed person who knows exactly what must be done to achieve his aims.
In conclusion, it can be discerned that the narrator in the story ‘’Lust” by Susan Minot is a helpless young girl. The lack of guidance and her weak will lead her to the promiscuous lifestyle.In the story “Some Things I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You” by Ted Thompson Cuppo is a reasonable man who takes guidance seriously. His attitude towards sex is very serious. He is in love and wants to be loved by the only girl. The story by Ted Thompson is more detailed than Susan Minot’s story.