Button Button

In: Other Topics

Submitted By sukker
Words 724
Pages 3
Analysis of:
BUTTON, BUTTON
By Richard Matheson

The short story is set in the State of New York, in NYC. It can therefore be concluded that the story takes place in an urban environment. We could by argue that the story will make us reflect over some basic human sins or human needs, such as greed, anger, disgust and denial. We are introduced to the protagonist of this story at the beginning. Her name is Norma and she is married to Arthur. It is not clear from the text how long they have been together. They have a typical husband and wife relationship where it is Norma that cooks and cleans. Despite Norma having a job, there is always a hot meal waiting for Arthur when he returns home after work. Overall they seem happy and content, but that slowly changes throughout the story, as they have different points of view concerning the box (button) and the use of it.
Mr. Steward who represents an international organization. He has an offer for Norma and Arthur, which includes the use of the box (button). The box is described, as a push-button unit fastened to a wooden box covered by a glass dome. The glass dome can be opened with a key that is delivered by Mr. Steward, when he comes to explain the offer. Mr. Steward explains it as “if you push the button (...) somewhere in the world, someone you do not know will die, in return you will receive $50.000”.
The offer creates some tension between Norma and Arthur, because of their different view on how serious the offer should be taken and also if it can be morally justified, to take the life of another human being, as long as you do not know them.
After they get the offer Norma is intrigued by notion, she starts to believe it could be an experiment for a research project to see how average people might react when facing such a dilemma. She begins to rationalize it so that it becomes unreal. As if it is just a joke…...

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