by Jonathan Franzen
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
We're just going to mention a few things here and let you come to your own conclusions: Richard's last name is Katz. He's a predator. Cats are also predators. They eat birds. Katz doesn't eat birds, but he sure "devours" young women, who are often derogatively called "chicks" or "birds." Walter loves birds; he wants to take care of them and fight for their rights. Walter is also a feminist. Richard cares not for birds. And did we mention his last name is "Katz"? Meow.