Woody Allen’s The Whore of Mensa

The narrator of “The Whore of Mensa” is a private investigator who is approached by a man in distress who doesn’t want his secret revealed his wife. Apparently, he’s been paying a young girl to come over and discuss intellectual subjects with him. This story satirizes married men who get prostitutes for sexual gratification. Just like men with wives who are either unwilling or unable to fulfill them sexually, the husband in this story is married to a woman who is unwilling or unable to fulfill him intellectually. The man’s wife isn’t intellectually experienced enough to discuss Ezra Pound or T.S. Eliot so he makes up for it with a whore with “quick intellectual experience” who leaves after the discussion is over. Besides ridiculing contemporary society for its lack of intellectual vitality, the story also draws comparisons between two types of stagnant marriages, those with little or no sexual activity and those with little or no intellectual activity. As a result, Woody Allen’s story is absurd and hilarious because it is an inversion of the typical reason why unfulfilled married men seek companionship with prostitutes.

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