What Is the Summary of “Button, Button” by Richard Matheson?

In the short story “Button, Button,” husband and wife Norma and Aurthur Lewis are offered a $50,000 bargain by Mr. Steward. If they chose to press the button, a stranger will perish and they will collect the money.

Each spouse receives a box with a button. Mr. Steward appears at their home shortly after they receive the button and offers them the deal. He makes it clear that whoever presses the button will not see the death of the anonymous individual. Norma, the wife, views this as an opportunity to gain money. Arthur, the husband, considers pulling the button to be murder. The pair discusses for several days whether to push the button.

Eventually, Norma presses the button, despite the fact that her husband regards it as murder, and as a result, her husband is killed in a train disaster. She receives a $50,000 payout for her husband’s life insurance policy. Norma accuses Mr. Steward of lying, and he responds by asking if she ever knew her husband in truth. “Button, Button” inspired an episode of “The Twilight Zone” and “The Box,” starring Cameron Diaz and James Marsden.


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