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MonkeyNotes-The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
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Frankie paces the kitchen floor even though she has a splinter in her foot. Finally she gets a butcher knife out of the drawer and sits down to extricate it. Frankieís foot is scarred from going barefoot so many summers. Her feet are so tough she can cut off the calluses without hurting herself. Frankie looks up and insists that Berenice tell her one more time how it was when Jarvis came with Janice. Berenice says the two came late in the morning when Frankie and John Henry were playing in the back yard. Frankie had run upstairs and came down later wearing an organdy dress and lipstick an inch thick from one ear to the next. The family had sat around the living room and then Jarvis and Janice took the train back to Winter Hill that afternoon.

Frankie is disappointed that Jarvis hadnít spent the night, but understands why he and Janice want to be together so much because he will soon be leaving for the war. Frankie asks Berenice to describe what they looked like. Berenice does so and then calls Frankie foolish for making her describe people that she had already seen. Frankie closes her eyes to imagine them and feels as if they are already going away from her. She feels like "the kitchen Frankie was an old hull left there at the table." She works on the splinter and tells Berenice that she thinks of Janice and Jarvis more as a picture than anything else. She thinks they are two of the prettiest people she has ever seen. Berenice worries that Frankie is hurting herself with the knife, but Frankie insists that she feels nothing.


It is the dog days of autumn when a strange phenomenon occurs: if something changes, it canít change back until the dog days are over. Frankieís cat, Charles, had disappeared. Despite the fact that she called and called for it, she knew it wouldnít come back until the end of the dog days. "Things that are done are not undone and a mistake once made is not corrected." Every day Frankie says exactly the same things to Berenice and Berenice always makes the same replies. Their words had become "an ugly little tune they sang by heart." Frankie worries over her cat. She calls it a Persian even though it has short hair. Berenice tells Frankie the cat has gone to look for a friend and that Frankie wonít see the cat again.

Frankie changes things on this particular afternoon. She gets up and tells Berenice she knows what she will do. She will notify the police about Charles, the cat. She calls the police and tells them she is missing a Persian cat with short hair who goes by Charles and also, sometimes, by Charlina. When she returns to the kitchen, Berenice is giggling about her silliness in thinking the police will take her seriously. Berenice teases her about the possibility that the police now know her name and house number and will come and get her. Frankie takes it seriously and says she doesnít care anyway. She decides she would be better off in jail anyway.

She thinks of Janice and Jarvisís progress on the train to Winter Hill. Frankie laughs suddenly about Jarvisís joke about the local election. He said he wouldnít vote for the scoundrel C. P. MacDonald even if he were running for dog catcher. She remembers that Janice had assured her that she had gotten in the major portion of her growth by the time she was thirteen, so Frankie neednít worry about her height. Frankie goes on about what Janice said until Berenice interrupts her and tells her she is lying. She scolds Frankie for her habit of exaggerating conversations. She admits "a little" that Berenice is right, then she wants to know if she makes a good impression on people. Berenice tells her she did nothing when Janice and Jarvis came over but watch them silently. Frankie finally extricates the splinter and feels satisfied that anyone but her would have felt pain in the operation.

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MonkeyNotes-The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
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