Carson McCullers's The Member of the Wedding (Bloom's by Harold Bloom

By Harold Bloom

With delicacy of belief and reminiscence, humour and pathos, Carson McCullers spreads prior to us the 3 stages of a weekend challenge within the lifetime of a motherless twelve-year-old woman. in the span of some hours, the impossible to resist, hoydenish Frankie passionately performs out her fantasies at her elder brother's marriage ceremony. via a deadly skylight we glance into the brain of a kid torn among her craving to belong and the urge to run away.

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Sample text

F. Jasmine and John Henry leave Big Mama’s house and venture into town. John Henry tells F. Jasmine that they should head home, but F. Jasmine tells him the he should go on without her. F. Jasmine goes to the Blue Moon to meet the soldier. F. Jasmine meets the soldier, and the narrator observes that he was gay and his talk was sassy. But although she liked gay people and sassy talk, she could not think of any answers. It was again as though the soldier talked a kind of doubletalk that, try as she would, she could not follow—yet it was not so much the actual remarks as the tone underneath she failed to understand.

It is revealed that she repeatedly “broke the law”—one time she took her father’s pistol and shot it in a vacant lot; another time, she stole a “three-way knife” from the local Sears and Roebuck Store. Yet, 31 it is the final “crime” enumerated that is perhaps the most significant. The narrator mentions the incident with Barney MacKean, when Frankie committed “a secret and unknown sin,” one that “made a shriveling sickness in [Frankie’s] stomach” and caused her to “drea[d] the eyes of everyone” (The Member of the Wedding 21).

Jasmine represents a markedly different manifestation of the protagonist than “Frankie”—more specifically, F. ” For example, according to the narrator, “It was the old Frankie of yesterday who had been puzzled, but F. Jasmine did not wonder any more; already she felt familiar with the wedding for a long, long time” (The Member of the Wedding 42). Thus, unlike Frankie, F. Jasmine is not afraid but confident, nor is she filled with questions. Instead, F. Jasmine has a high degree of agency, and is a character of action.

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