Why did Annette Brougham feel obligated to appreciate Alan Beverly’s painting?

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In "The Man Upstairs," Annette Brougham has been composing a waltz when she is disturbed by someone knocking on the ceiling of her apartment. She goes upstairs to make her displeasure known and quickly finds herself charmed by Alan Beverley, the young artist she meets there. Though he objected to...

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In "The Man Upstairs," Annette Brougham has been composing a waltz when she is disturbed by someone knocking on the ceiling of her apartment. She goes upstairs to make her displeasure known and quickly finds herself charmed by Alan Beverley, the young artist she meets there. Though he objected to her playing the same phrase over and over again, Alan is impressed when he discovers that she is a composer and is very flattering about her abilities, remarking that it must be wonderful to be artistically gifted. When Annette points out that he must have artistic gifts, being a painter, Alan replies:

I fancy... I should make a pretty good house-painter. I want scope. Canvas seems to cramp me.

She then encourages him to show her a picture, which he duly does. With this build-up, his praise of her music and his modesty about his own art, Annette clearly feels obliged to appreciate the painting and does so, saying that she thinks it is splendid. However, though Wodehouse says the painting is crude in technique, its subject, that of a child and a cat, does genuinely appeal to her:

Annette belonged to that large section of the public which likes or dislikes a picture according to whether its subject happens to please or displease them. Probably there was not one of the million or so child-and-cat eyesores at present in existence which she would not have liked. Besides, he had been very nice about her music.

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