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MonkeyNotes-The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
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Berenice wishes Honey and T T. would hurry and come because Frankie is making her so nervous. Frankie bunches up her shoulders and then bangs her head down on the table. She says the couple was so pretty and then they went away and left her. Berenice sings a song "Frankie got a crush . . . on the Wedd-ing." Frankie picks up the knife and threatens Berenice with it. Berenice tells her to lay down the knife. When Frankie won’t, Berenice calls her a devil. Frankie threatens to throw it. Berenice goads her to do it and Frankie throws it at the stairway door where it lodges. Berenice doesn’t say anything, then she reminds Frankie what her father has said about knife-throwing in the house. Frankie threatens once again to run away. Berenice wants to know when she’ll do it and where she’ll go. Frankie says she’s going to Winter Hill to the wedding and then never coming back. Berenice pushes Frankie’s bangs back and asks her kindly if she is serious. Berenice tells her she wonders how Frankie plans to do it when she doesn’t know where she’ll go. Frankie looks around at the kitchen again feeling "the world" is "fast and loose and turning, faster and looser and bigger than ever it had been before." She thinks of the pictures of the war. She tells Berenice it feels like she’s been skinned and wishes she had some chocolate ice cream.

Honey and T. T. knock on the door. Honey is Berenice’s foster brother. T. T. Williams is a big, gray-haired man who is older than Berenice. He is Berenice’s beau. Honey is a "sick-loose" man who hurt himself while working in the gravel pit and has since been unable to do heavy work. Before they leave, Berenice serves them a round of gin out of a hair-straightening bottle. Frankie "has the extra feeling like they were waiting for her to leave." She stands in the door watching them, not wanting to go away. Frankie finally says good-bye to them. Berenice calls after her to forget all the foolishness they were discussing. She tells Frankie to go to the Wests if her father doesn’t come home soon. Frankie stands on the outside of the door listening to them. Honey asks Berenice what they had been talking about. Berenice says it was nothing but foolishness.


Frankie is alone in the house. At one time after her grandmother died, they had rented the downstairs room out to a Mr. and Mrs. Marlowe. One day Frankie had gone into their room and found them together on the bed. She had run out telling Berenice that Mrs. Marlowe was having a fit. Berenice ran in, saw them, and then came out quickly, telling Frankie the Marlowes were common people. She never told Frankie what kind of fit Mrs. Marlowe was having. When Frankie’s father heard about it, he told the Marlowes to leave. Frankie has since been curious about what the adults were not telling her.

Frankie puts on one of her father’s hats and stares at herself in the mirror. She feels like the conversation about the wedding had been wrong and that she had asked all the wrong questions. Berenice had not taken her seriously. She stands in front of the mirror until the dark shadows seem like ghosts. She goes out to the street and looks at the sky. She used to go out always at this time of evening because the kitchen would get too hot. She would practice knife-throwing or write shows. This summer she had written "very cold shows," about snow-bound places. She would always go back into the house after she finished with her shows. Tonight, though, she didn’t want to write shows or throw knives. She begins to feel afraid like she had been in the beginning of spring. She feels the need to think of something ugly, so she looks at her house. It’s the ugliest house in town, "empty and dark." She goes to John Henry’s house. He’s on the front porch with the lighted window behind him. She wonders when her father will come home and says she doesn’t want to go home and be alone. She remembers Jarvis’s smart political remark about the politician C. P. MacDonald. John Henry doesn’t respond at all.

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MonkeyNotes-The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
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