The teacher of Elaine’s Life Drawing class, with whom she eventually has an affair. He is in his thirties at the time, and an émigré from Hungary, where he allegedly left behind a wife and two daughters. Often referred to as Mr. Hrbik, he seems to make a habit of having relationships with his students, as he also sleeps with Susie. He is melancholic and has a very romanticized view of how women should be. Although he appears to have some power over Elaine at the start of their affair, as he chooses her outfits, it is Elaine who walks away from him in the end; he appears to remain hung up on the relationship, as he creates a film about it.
Josef Hrbik Character Timeline in Cat’s Eye
The timeline below shows where the character Josef Hrbik appears in Cat’s Eye. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part Four: Deadly Nightshade
Part Seven: Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Part Ten: Life Drawing
...knows, she becomes bolder in demonstrating her affections and starts referring to Mr. Hrbik as Josef and talking about him more often. Elaine feels like Mr. Hrbik must need rescuing or... (full context)
Part Eleven: Falling Women
...which reminds her of how dilapidated these buildings used to be. When she thinks of Josef, she feels like she understands his melancholy—she feels like she would have been frantic if... (full context)
...does not see women as “helpless flowers” or “shapes to be arranged” the way that Josef does, he categorizes them as smart or stupid. He considers Elaine “smarter than most,” which... (full context)
Part Twelve: One Wing
Part Fourteen: Unified Field Theory
...order: the early paintings characterized by Charna as female symbolism, the paintings of Jon and Josef, Mrs. Smeath. She tries to see her childhood self in Mrs. Smeath’s eyes, and recognizes... (full context)