An analysis of the short story Janus, by Ann Beattie.
In this story by Ann Beattie, a female realtor buys a bowl to place in the houses she is trying to sell because she believes it to bring her good luck. As time passes, she begins to see the bowl in a new light, experiencing it more like an actual relationship rather than a mere object. She begins to obsess over the bowl to the point that she only brings it to the houses she is trying to sell when no one else is around so that she is the only one who can touch it. The story concludes with the realtor on the verge of insanity because she has become too obsessed with the bowl and she worries that something might happen to it. The author illustrates the human possessive trait in this story by exploring the woman’s compulsion to own and protect the bowl. The tone is disturbing, but oddly relaxing at the same time because of the loving way the realtor treats her bowl. Using the woman’s relationship with her prized possession, Beattie addresses the questions “what is human nature, what is love, and what is beauty?”