Caught in Fiction

The most important thing to analyze while reading this text is the way that Alison chooses to tell her story. She makes very bold, matter of fact statements about very important information but presents them in a very fast way as if they aren’t important at all. In the beginning of the book as we are introduced to her family it is obvious that there is some strange vibe in the family. This is no ordinary close, kind and considerate family when it came to their father. There seemed to be some disconnect. The first thing that is shown to us as the readers is Bruce’s love for the house and the precise decorations and overall vibe. On page 14, Alison states, “I grew to resent the way my father treated his furniture like children and his children like furniture.” Also, to be able to pick up on the overall tone of Bruce is very important. It becomes obvious that something is going wrong and upsetting him but we do not find out what it is until later on. ¬†Allison gives us a reader another very important piece of information on page 17. She says, “He appeared to be an ideal husband and father, for example. But would an ideal husband and father have had sex with teenage boys? It’s tempting to suggest, in retrospect, that our family was a sham.” This page alone was system overload. Allison drops a huge bomb on the reader by giving ¬†us this information but as swiftly as the moment came, it quickly goes away. She states the fact and moves on, explaining nothing. She does this a few times in the chapters that we read. On page 46 she reveals her sexual orientation to us by stating “As I told my girlfriend what happened…” Again, this information is new to the reader but as quickly as it was introduced it is thrown to the way side and she continues going on with what she was saying.

The relationships between family members seems to be based a great deal on works of literature. In ways we observe that Bruce and Allison may have some sort of bond, besides literature. Our first inclination that Allison and her father may have a distant relationship but some sort of bond is seen on page 19. Allison shows that she wants to show affection to her father in some way, even though it was awkward. I believe that Bruce answers or reciprocates this affection in unconventional ways, such as reading to her (page 21), bathing her (page 22), and inviting her in to the surgical (funeral prep) room at the fun house. These actions led me to believe that they had a bond, even though it wasn’t made conventionally apparent.

Chapter three seems to be the chapter that gives us a greater understanding of the family. Allison begins to go back and touch on some the information that she had stated in previous chapters. She begins to reveal information about Bruce and his homosexuality, along with marital problems between Bruce and her mother. She also gives us a better understanding into her sexuality and information about her relationship with her girlfriend. She tends to tell a part of the story of her life and then skip back to a later time in life (either hers or her fathers) and tell story and then come back and continue on. It’s almost like the further and further you read the more information you get by Allison going back and filling in the holes, then going back again and filling in more holes, and repeatedly doing this until we get the full story. Looping back repeatedly.

Another main issue of the book is the preference of a fiction to reality. When Alison was young was she just interpreting her father incorrectly due to her age? Was he not a cold, seemingly heartless father but rather a man trapped in his own “reality”? Or his own “fiction”? Was the bond between these two characters due to their shared sexual orientation? Was she her father’s daughter in the sense that she was born a homosexual and this was the unseen bond that they seemed to have when she was a child?

Another issue I wanted to present going off the statement of “the preference of a fiction to reality”. I believe this would be describing her fathers preference of having homosexual acts over the reality of having a wife and kids. Also that Bruce often got lost in the literature he read and adopted thoughts, feelings, or characteristics of the characters in the stories. This is apparent in his letters home when he was serving in the military and in the timing of his death. (Same number of months, same number of weeks, and the same age at the point of death as Fitzgerald.

Reading Between the Lines

When comparing the text of Cat on the Tin Roof and the movie I found Maggie and Brick’s relationship quite interesting. Based off of the text I assumed that Maggie was not attractive but in the movie it is the exact opposite. The foundations of their relationship are tested time and time again in the book. It is rather obvious that their relationship is going through quite a few problems, including not being romantically involved and Brick’s drinking.

One moment that I wanted to focus in on was the moment in the video we viewed in class, the one when Brick insists that Maggie explain to Big Daddy what happened between her and Skipper. While explaining herself, Maggie says how she had wanted to sleep with Skipper to prove to Brick that his best friend was bad and to essentially “get rid” of him. She says a line after explaining all of this that is extreme to the scenario. She says “as I assume was Skippers plan too” or something to that effect. Now, I don’t if I was reading into this too much but wouldn’t mean that Maggie was saying it was Brick’s idea to sleep with Maggie to “get rid” of her? Basically saying to have Brick to himself.

I think the relationship between Brick and Skipper seems rather obvious to the audience as it is introduced in the text. Skipper was a part of Brick and when he kills himself Brick seemingly can’t handle it and begins to drink himself into a frenzy. The true question is why does Maggie hold on to a relationship that seems to have lost its spark? Now, I think its important to keep the time period in mind when asking that question.

I also found the differences between the ending of the text and movie rather interesting. From the text, I as a reader didn’t come away with a happy feeling. I felt as if the relationship between Brick and Maggie was the same. Brick had no interest and Maggie was trying to be over controlling. In the movie, the ending is quite different. It makes the audience feel as if Brick has come around and loves Maggie. He demonstrates actions as if they are going to be romantically connected again and have a happy, normal relationship.

I wish that we could go deeper into the play and see if Maggie really does become pregnant and who Big Daddy gives the plantation to.

Lolita MIA

Things just kept getting darker and darker the farther we read into this book. To be honest, I have been thinking for quite some time that Lolita would somehow run away but I was uncertain of how she would achieve such an act. Throughout this section we see the anxiety and paranoia grow in HH as a character. I would imagine this would be his conscious shining through, as he has known his and Lolita’s relationship has been “unusual” for quite some time now. HH’s paranoia shows in many different places during the latest reading section. When they are staying in the cabin and HH walks into the town to get fruit for the ill-feeling Lolita he is thrown off when he returns. Lolita is up, out of bed and dressed. HH is such a over analyst that he notices Lo’s feet are dusty and immediately feels as if she has “pulled something slick”. He even goes as far as to question the man in the next door cabin.

At this point I think it is evident that the relationship between HH and Lo is steadily unraveling and more of Lo’s discontentment is being shown. While on the road HH is certain that they are being followed, because indeed they are. This is when I knew for a fact something was going on with Lo. Throughout this book we have questioned Lo’s feelings towards her current situation. It is interesting to note that in the beginning HH made it seem as if Lo was perfectly happy with the idea of them being in a relationship, even that “she pursued it” rather than him, and now I think more of the truth is starting to come out; even if it is through HH perspective. We have been provided bits and pieces of Lo’s perspective thus far and now I think a little more light is being shed on Lo’s true feelings. She has had no other avenue to pursue this far as far as changing her life goes. I think all along she has been waiting on the perfect moment “to make her move” and get rid of HH. Lo has taken many actions that have shown her discontentment. She has ran away, phoned someone and seemingly lied to HH about why she was using a pay phone, faked sick and now someone is following them on their journey. It is evident that something big is going to happen.

When Lo does disappear and HH is left alone I think it is interesting to see how he copes with it. As a reader, he seems to want to make us feel bad that “his daughter” has disappeared from the hospital. He also looks for empathy behind the fact that his “true love” has also disappeared. As for me, I finally was half way relieved about the sequence of events because Lo got away, she no longer has to endure the situation. As HH talks more about his life after she has ran away, he talks about longing for Lo and that he still has his same want. He still sits on park benches or on the bus to be amongst nymphets but none will ever compare to Lo.