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The story, "Lust" was written by Susan Minot in 1989. The Story 'Lust' is one of the many stories from the novel written by Minot titled "Lust and other stories." The story explores the difficulties that young men and women undergo before they find a lasting relationship. It is in teenage that people are faced with the hard choices to make regarding their sexuality; before one identifies what he or she want, a lot of experiments on matter pertaining sexuality must have taken place as shown in the story "Lust". From the title of the story, "Lust" to the content of the story, the writer has shown how young men and women are engaging in casual sex without having any worry. In this society the writer is writing about is filled with promiscuity. A person engaging in casual sex without seeking any attachment is rampant in this society. The paper therefore seeks to explore the society Minot wrote about. It also seeks to define the roles of male and female in the society as indicated by the story "Lust" by Minot.
Form the story, "Lust" we can deduce that teenagers do engage in sexual activities at a very tender age. The narrator asserts that she saw nudity of a man while she was still at high school, "I met him the first month away at boarding school."This shows that the narrator had a sexual activity while she was at a tender age. The story also shows that teenagers do engage in sexual affairs without giving love a chance to blossom. The narrator postulates that she had kissed a boy by the name Bruce barely before she got to know him well, "I had tasted Bruce's tongue." The teenagers in this society exchange sexual partners without giving much thought about it. Tim, one of the narrator's lover told her to meet him in the bathroom, the same things narrator overheard him telling another girl referred to as Annie Hines.
Parents have lost control of their school going kids. In he society today, parents have no say on what their children do while they are away at schools. So many things tend to happen behind the parents' back. The narrator confirms this when she says that, "parents never really know what's going on especially when you're away in school most of the time". In the story "Lust" parents are naïve on the behaviors of their school going children especially on the matter that pertain sex. The parents in most cases assume that their teenage children are in healthy relation especially with other people of opposite sex. According to the narrator, her mother would just comliment her male friends without giving much though of what could be going on between them and her teenage daughter. The narrator also asserts that her father is shy and thus could not comment on anything that she does. According to narrator, her father only comments if her male friends are involved in any sporting activity that the father also has a liking for. From the story we can deduce that lack of parental guidance and advices has fueled promiscuity that is being propagated in this society. Parents should take charge and know everything their children do while both at school and at home. Lack of parental guidance on matter pertaining sexuality has led narrator and her friends to engage in adventuring and hence discover matter relating to sexuality on their own a thing that would be regrettable in future. Parents need to take the responsibility of ensuring that their children are well informed on matter relating to their sexuality and thus avoid harsh consequences that otherwise would befall their children for overindulgence.
The story, "Lust" brings out the theme of male chauvinism very clearly. The male in the society are seen to dominate over their women counterpart. In this society Minot is writing about women have no say especially on the matter pertaining their sexuality. Male in this society are using women as objects to mean to satisfy their sexual desires. The narrator asserts that Roger, a character in the story was going for her zipper regardless of the situation they were in. The male members in this society are the one seen to initiating a romance. It leaves the reader wondering whether women have no sexual desires or the culture in this society has made it a taboo for women to initiate a sexual activity. The men in his society subject their women counterpart to harsh condition for them to fulfill their sexual desires. The narrator confirms that she was subjected to difficulty conditions for her lovers to be satisfied sexually. "It was raining like hell.....Tim pinned me to a tree." The statement indicates that despite raining heavily, Tim was focused to solicit sexual favors from the narrator. He did not seem to care that outside there it was cold and the narrator could contract a cold in the process of him soliciting sexual gratifications from the narrator. It is common sense that the narrator was not enjoying the situation given the weather outside but she couldn't resist. The society culture and the customs of the society the narrator is living in have taaught her that as a woman she should be submissive to men in the society.
The theme of male chauvinism in the story, "Lust" is extended by the culture and the customs of the society the writer wrote about. Women in the society should give in to the demand of their male counterpart. The male dominated their women counterpart at very tender age. Boys in this society would grow knowing that they are more superior to the girls. The narrators remember when she was a young girl; boys would pursue them only for them to see their underpants, "...wouldn't let us out till we showed them our underpants." Therefore being a girl child in this society dominated by male was a hectic thing. The women are forced by the circumstances to fall into the advances that are made by the males, failure to which they are treated badly by their male counterparts, "if you don't look, they screech off and call you a bitch."
Promiscuity is the order of the day in this society. The story, "Lust" revolves around promiscuous activities that go on in this society. From the story, the narrator confirms having casual sex with many men. Some of the "Lovers" narrator took to bed had not met previously but after exchanging few pleasantries, they end up making love. The narrator ends up sleeping with her lovers well knowing that their relationship is not headed anywhere. One of the narrator's accomplice admits that he does not want to start a relationship with the narrator that would lead to marriage but only want her to fulfill his sexual desires," I just want to have a good time." Those in the authority also condoned promiscuity. The narrator asserts that they were supplied with pills to prevent pregnancies, "school doctor gave out the pill like aspirin." The main business of the school's administration was to protect the reputation of the school but not to stop promiscuous activities among the student fraternity, "We've got twenty acres of woods on this campus....smooch with your boyfriend there."
In conclusion, the story, "Lust" talks about society and gender in depth. From the story one identifies the position of women in this society. Women are seen as inferior to their male counterparts in this society especially when it comes to matter pertaining sexuality. The theme that is clearly identified in the story is that of lust. People are engaging in sex without giving much thought. As the narrator confirms people in this society engages in sexual not out of love but to fulfill their sexual desires.