The Babysitter and Sex

“The Babysitter” and Sex
In “The Babysitter”, Robert Coover portrays the fictional fantasies of a family, a babysitter, and her boyfriend. The father has dreams of being with the babysitter, as does the boyfriend and his friend. The mother worries about her weight gain and how the husband feels about the babysitter. The babysitter hopes for a nice bath and washing the boy, while the children want to tickle the babysitter.   Like most authors, the goal for Coover is to sell his short story. From an economical standpoint, Coover utilizes explicit sexual images throughout the short story to challenge the standards of the time, entertain the reader, and sell his work of literature, “The Babysitter”.
Coover first began his writing career in the sixties; America was transitioning from an “era [that] has been popularized as an age of innocence and prosperity during which traditional family values, civility, and old-fashioned patriotism flourished”. (Phillip J. Landon, The History Channel Presents The Fifties) The people of this time began to confront the ideas of the prior generations and segue into a time of social revolution. Civil rights movements, black militancy and women’s liberation were amongst the various issues dominating public attention. (G. Ray Funkhouser, The Issues) Coover did not go unaffected by the changing social climate of this era. “The Babysitter” exemplifies an experimental writing style that Coover perfected called metafiction. Metafiction is the “fictional writing which self-consciously and systematically draws attention to its status as an artifact in order to pose questions about the relationship between fiction and reality.” (Iddo Landau, Metafiction) In “The Babysitter”, Coover takes several parallel storylines and twists them in ways that force the reader to consider different perspectives concerning the situation. (Gale, Contemporary Authors Online) Coover exploits this strategy to show the interment desires of everyone in the story. The...