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Interpirtation of the short story “Lust” by Susan Minot Essay

In the short story, “Lust” by Susan Minot, the story begins with a young girl talking about the first time she had sex with a boy, as the story goes on she talks more and more about boys she is with and the different situations she in with them. She doesn’t talk about her interests very much outside of the boys she encounters. In the story I feel like the girl has low self confidence and low self esteem “Some things I was good as , like math or painting or even sports but the second a boy put his arm around me , I forgot about wanting to do anything else.” In this quote I feel like it’s a foreshadowing of the person she would become later, so involved in boys that she didn’t have a real meaning in life. She feels she isn’t a good enough to not have sex with the boys and is just doing it, because she thinks it’s a way to get them to love her.

“I hate those girls who push away a boy’s face as if she were made out of Ivory soap, as if she’s much greater than she is.” I feel like this quote is very symbolic in describing how the girl feels about her self as well as other girls. I feel that the Ivory soap symbolizes girl who haven’t had sex and who are “clean and perfect.” I feel that in this quote she says, “she hates the girls who push away the boys faces” because ironically she is upset and angry at herself, that she never pushed the boys away and has regrets about sleeping with so many boys. I feel like she actually hating her self. Also what is ironic about this quote that she actually thinks the boys are greater than she is. Her perception of the boys is off. This shows her low self confidence and low self esteem “You begin to feel like a piece of pounded veal.”

This quote goes with the argument of the story in the sense that she is having a constant battle within her self. Through out the progression of the boys she experiences I feel that she is constantly trying to fill a hole that she has inside of her self, by sleeping with so many boys in hopes that they will start to care and love her. “You make out the dim shape of the window and feel yourself become a cave, filled absolutely with air, or with a sadness that wouldn’t stop.” This hole could be caused by the fact that her parents are never around that she has been shipped off to some boarding school she could feel rejected by her parents and therefor could be trying to fill the hole by being with so many boys feeling there approval. “My parents had no idea. Parents doing really know what’s going on especially when you’re away at school most of the time.”

In this story I feel the girl is struggling to find happiness not within herself, but in other people and in sex. In the beginning of the story she is just experimenting with sex and as the story goes on she progresses into not even remembering some of the boys names because she is getting more sad, more empty, because the boys are giving her what she really wants happiness in herself. “I sat on the cracked chest by the open window and smoked and smoked till I felt even worse, waiting for something- I get for him to get back.”


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