Lex Luthor Took Forty Cakes is a popular comic book illustration from the 1978 children’s dictionary The Super Dictionary featuring illustrations of heroes and villains from DC comics. One of the illustrations in the book depicts Lex Luthor, running away with a cart filled with 40 cakes.
When no one was looking, Lex Luthor
took forty cakes. He took 40 cakes.
That’s as many as four tens.
And that’s terrible.
Another trait in the characters is, unsurprisingly for a naturalistic story, not really anything to do with them so much as the short story’s attitude towards them. Naturalism tends to ignore concepts such as rightness or wrongness, in favor of simply stating that things are as they are (objectivism). For example, a non-naturalistic visual “super dictionary” featuring DC comic book characters might say “When no one was looking, Lex Luthor stole forty cakes. He took 40 cakes. That’s as many as four tens. And that’s terrible.” Redundancy and general ludicrosity aside, since it was meant to help children learn when it was published in 1978, it clearly takes a stance on whether Lex Luthor is being morally right or wrong in his actions. Naturalism, in general, typically ignores these concepts. None of the characters in “The Open Boat” are every reprimanded for having a right or wrong opinion by the Correspondent in his notes; they are simply pointed out and left as is. In a sense, the story uses both objectivism at the same time as it is being amoral.