23 October 2008
In the short story “Janus” by Ann Beattie, the author uses the character Andrea as an object to give life to the symbolic meaning of a cream colored ceramic bowl, which is correlated to the Roman God “Janus” that is identified primarily with doors or other places of passage, and is also represented as being two faced. In the beginning, its sole purpose in the story is simply a tool that Andrea uses to sell houses. Even though she used other tools like placing the dog and even house plants in the homes there is a strong connection being made between Andrea and the bowl. The bowl which was one just a aesthetically pleasing piece of ceramic art began to morph into a more personal object which she tries to identify the relationship between in the story.
The bowl showed the weak relationship between Andrea and her husband. It was clear at moments that she cared more about the bowl than her own husband. When she wakes up in the morning next to him and feels guilty it is because of her feelings toward the bowl and the deeper connection that she has between it. There is no passion in their relationship, but it seems that they get along well with each other. The bowl also revealed that she was having an affair with her husband, which is why she could never talk to him about the bowl. In the story when it described the day she saw the bowl at the arts and craft fair. Andrea didn’t need the bowl and leaves the table, but her lover noticed that she saw something in it and bought it for her anyways. It shows that Andrea and the other man are truly in love and have a passionate relationship, but she could not bring herself to leave her husband. The lover eventually grows tired of waiting and leaves which is why she says “Alone in the living room at night, she often looked at the bowl sitting on the table, still and safe, unilluminated.”(283). The bowl meant more to here because of the passion and true...