Written on the Body- Part 2

September 9, 2007

pat.jpgAfter the last class, and being made aware to the fact that it is a distinct possibility that our narrator could be a woman, I read this section looking for any kind of clue to the gender bending mystery.  Firstly, there is a passage on page 58, “But I’m not a Boy Scout and never was.”  If the narrator were a woman then this would make sense.  But then I was never a Boy Scout.  There was also the instance where after Jacqueline has ransacked the apartment, there is specific mention that the toilet seat was missing.  Big deal?  Finally there is page 92, “I had a boyfriend once called Crazy Frank.”  This sentence leaves us with more questions than answers.  But whatever the gender of the narrator, that doesn’t change the fact that they spent time with a circus freak who carried his midget parents around on his shoulders.  That’s just weird.  So it looks like the androgyny continues.

A couple things in this section caught my attention.  For starters, there were some passages that reminded me tremendously of Fight Club (the film).  Page 76, “Perhaps I’m not meant to to have any worldy goods.”  In the film,  Edward Norton’s character compulsively orders things from overpriced catalogues, only to lose them all when his apartment explodes.  And also on page 80, “Night-workers and frequent fliers are absolutely the victims of their stubborn circadian clocks.”  Edward Norton has a similar feeling about flying too much.”  In other non Fight Club related news, on page 59, “movies are a terrible sham.”  That’s just a throwback to theory and Horkheimer and Adorno.  Then there was page 61 where Louise calls our narrator “Christopher Robbin.”  I don’t really get this, unless it’s some sort of pet name and the narrator refers to Louise as Pooh, or Piglet or Tigger.

It would seem that in this section of the novel, the narrator has taken on a different perspective towards love.  In the first section the narrator chastises those who fall in love and live by the cliches.  But the narrators situation with Louise has him/her falling all of those cliches.   He/she is always thinking of Louise, all of the sentimental thoughts about how they should be together forever.  And the narrator falls into one of the biggest love cliches ever, making a huge sacrifice because you think it’s what’s best for the person you care about. 

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2 Responses to “Written on the Body- Part 2”

  1. Tammy said

    I agree with you in that the narrator has not remained static throughout the novel but changes. The narrator actually begins to do what he/she beleived to be wrong before the narrator shows the feelings toward Louise.

  2. hannahzel said

    i have been thinkin about the cliches a lot and you summed it up very nicely. what is the narrators obsession with these cliches of love? but what you pointed out about the “ultimate cliche” is true. throughout the novel i think the narrator is trying to work with the cliches and determine whether they are accurate, such as the “settling down” one that they try with jacqueline. but i think in the end the relization that the “ultimate cliche” was unfair to louise and costing them time together was the answer: cliches are bad, live your life some other way.

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