What is an analysis of the second chapter of In the Cage?

An analysis of the second chapter of In the Cage could discuss similarities between the girl's profession and Mrs. Jordan's job or why the telegraphist finds her job fascinating.

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One way to analyze chapter 2 of Henry James's novella In the Cage could connect to Mrs. Jordan. One might want to discuss how the profession of the girl's friend relates to her own duties as a telegraphist. The unnamed girl gets to peek into the lives of others via their words. Meanwhile, Mrs. Jordan gains access to the lives of others by arranging their flowers. Their jobs grant them access to worlds that they otherwise would be left out of. Through their work, they can experience how other people live.

It could be interesting to link the telegraphist and the personal florist to modern occupations that, likewise, revolve around personal interactions with people from different socioeconomic classes. Similar to Mrs. Jordan and the girl, Uber drivers, a TaskRabbit "Tasker," Facebook moderators, and so on are in positions that give them glimpses into the lives of strangers.

Another angle to analyze is the "fascination" that this job holds for the girl. It's possible to address the voyeuristic elements of the girl's profession. It's as if the girl is a spy. Consider why reading other people's words is a more thrilling life for her than the kind offered by her impending husband Mr. Mudge.

For a third kind of analysis, you might discuss the unclear lines between work life and personal life. The girl talks about her work life in the same context as her personal life, and vice versa. Mr. Mudge can't be separated from her job at Cocker's. One might want to detail how this mixture of personal and professional specifically manifests in chapter 2.

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