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Picking Fights Over Strangers Over Small Indignities: "King Curtis’s Echo” By Max Thayer,

636 words - 3 pages

In the short story, “King Curtis’s Echo”, by Max Thayer, the author mostly focuses on

his revelation that in the spirit of self-preservation, picking fights with strangers over

small indignities, is a bad idea and can have fatal consequences. He does not bring to

light the other obvious point in his tale: possessing people skills to begin could have

prevented the situation altogether. A little tact, patience, and forethought would have

gone a long way in sparing the author the plethora of indignities that he ultimately

brought upon himself.


Approaching the deli patron with a little finesse would clearly have helped Max

Thayer’s cause, but it is obvious that he does not possess such character traits. In the

beginning three paragraphs he talks about overhearing someone else’s conversation and

can’t help but butt in. He yells, from his apartment to the guy on the street. Thayer has

decided that he is right about something and he will prove it. When the man doesn’t

respond to him he runs down to the street level to continue the confrontation. What

happens next is crucial, Max could speak to the man diplomatically, but the next set of

words he speaks are more of an order than a question, and things quickly go down hill

from there.

If Thayer had thought about what sort of out come he wanted before he left his home

perhaps there wouldn’t have been further obscenities exchanged over something as

inconsequential as a parking space. He shows the reader that he is reacting to every little

nuance this man projects, “He smirked when we passed each other.” And, “Our eyes met

as he smirked again.” Thayer is highly reactive, a loose canon, and since he does not

notice this, it leads the reader to believe that he may not...

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