The Knack makes a serious satirical statement about certain middle-class attitudes which have found new expression in youthful approaches to sex. Tolen's knack with women is acquired by adapting to sex a number of traditional middle-class attitudes toward work and material success. He sees girls as fancy gadgets to be manipulated, as interchangeable objects who look and act alike. In order to manipulate them successfully, one must acquire the knack. The only halfway human relationships established are not between manipulator and object, but between those who have the knack and those who are trying to get it; and such relationships are essentially competitive.
The knack is compared with two...
(The entire section is 1091 words.)