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When I started writing the story, I had the idea of a person who had adopted all these familiar signifiers as a kind of camouflage, but was something else—or nothing at all—underneath.
Margot’s sense of Robert and his motivations keeps shifting throughout the story. Do you think that she ever actually interprets his thoughts or behavior correctly?
She thinks (or tells herself) that she isn’t afraid that Robert will “force” her, and I think, on one level, that’s true: she has no evidence that he’d be violent toward her.
Our initial impression of a person is pretty much entirely a mirage of guesswork and projection.But what makes Catwoman, aka Selina Kyle, the closest thing to a soulmate is her ability to bring down Batman’s emotional shield and find a connection.“Catwoman is someone who’s seen his pain and has been through stuff as bad as he has been through,” King says.“She says, ‘Look, both of us are broken, but we can be broken together.’ ”When the writer was working on how he would have Batman propose, King would get advice from his 7-year-old daughter, who’s obsessed with both superheroes and romance.In order to avoid an uncomfortable, possibly risky exchange, she “bludgeons her resistance into submission” with a shot of whiskey. I do think there’s a hint of class tension in the story: Robert teases Margot about her “highbrow” taste in movies, and repeatedly brings up her college education in a way that (in my mind) suggests the possibility that he hasn’t gone to college himself.Then, later, she wonders why the memories of the encounter make her feel so sick and scared, and she blames herself for overreacting, for not being kinder to Robert, who, after all, didn’t do anything wrong. Margot, certainly, interprets his behavior in this way: she believes that he’s intimidated by her, that she has the upper hand, and this appeals to her.