In the novel Member of the Wedding, by simply Carson McCullers, the story of young Frankie Addams is told because she starts to navigate the world, documenting by her perspective, her exposure to harsh truth of the world since she starts to develop into a youthful woman. The timeframe from which the novel is from was characterized by department, including ethnic and gender discrimination, and also strong marginalization on the basis of sexuality. Through the technique of portrayal, McCullers illustrates the effect of these social constructs in making a divisive world which eventually marginalized the people.
Through the characterization of Steve Henry, McCullers highlights the divisive characteristics of sexuality binaries and gender personality. John Henry is defined “[wearing] a jonquil dress” (McCullers124). The word jonquil, which is a perennial yellow floral, depicts the femininity of his personality, as flowers are typically connected with feminine qualities. Furthermore, his wearing of the dress reephasizes the effeminate gender personality that is related to John Henry. There are clear character similarities with Lily Mae Jenkins, particularly within their choice of feminine clothing. Lily, a boy who had changed his gender after falling deeply in love with a man known as Juney Smith, is defined “prissing around with a pink satin shirt and a single arm akimbo” (81). The pink silk blouse which will Lily Mae wears depicts his delicate femininity and obvious defiance of interpersonal constructs during the time period, as it was not common of a man to affiliate himself with feminine characteristics or cross gender constructs. In Lily Mae Jenkin’s instance, his character is definitely ostracized, as is exemplified by Berenice’s comment in which your woman bluntly says, “You don’t need to know Lily Mae Jenkins” (81) as though he was not worth of being well-known. Similarly, Ruben Henry appears to be isolated. In his physical description, it is revealed that he “had the largest legs Frankie experienced ever noticed, and on one of them there was always a scab or gazebind where had had decreased down and skinned himself” (McCullers 4). Through his flawed physicality, including the scabs and craters typically linked to children, Steve Henry can be attributed having a gawkish, childlike adolescence. Seems like, through this description, that her has a lack of comfort in his individual physical human body and appearance, alluding to his qualities which have ultimately ostracized him from the rest of society. By contrast towards the feminine features that are related to John Henry and Lily Mae Jenkins, Frankie assumes on more assertive characteristics. She actually is described with “brown brown crust area on her elbows” (90). When it was considered a normality for girls to be spending remain indoors during the time period, Frankie seemingly crosses the gender constructs. Similar to Ruben Henry, she feels as if she actually is ostracized, searching for refuge within the protection of her buddy and her fiancée to be able to compensate for the simple fact that the lady can’t look for a place in her own lifestyle. This section is further exemplified within the House of Freaks. Inside, there was a “Half-Man Half-Woman, a morphidite. This Nut is divided completely in half – the left side is a man plus the right side a woman” (20). There is also a clear marginalization on the basis of sexuality, as the division between right and left part indicates a definite division due to gender identification. Furthermore, the morphidite is ostracized from society because of his defiance of interpersonal constructs, which is evident throughout the fact that the individual is referred to as a Freak, inadequate any identity of his or her own.
Through the composing of the personality Berenice, McCullers illuminates the divisive effects of racial discrimination within the time period. In her brief physical description, she is described with having “something wrong Her left attention was shiny blue cup [whereas] her right eyesight was darker and sad” (5). The color blue from the glass vision is connected with stability. Yet , this stableness simply a great illusion, while exemplified by the fact that the glass attention is artificial and the girl merely would wear it like a scar from the injuries induced by her prior husband. The rapport of the colour of her green glass attention with the dark and unhappy right eyesight indicates a split in her physical appearance and metaphorically, her social identity. The artificial a glass eye gives the illusion of stability and confidence, signifying her tolerance to the fact that your woman had been ostracized by a world which was dominantly white and discriminatory. Nevertheless , beneath this kind of façade, the lady appears to have a much deeper sadness and passion on her behalf cultural id, stating that “they carried out drawn entirely extra bounds around most colored people. They performed squeezed us off in one corner by simply ourself” (119). It is apparent through this kind of passage that Berenice is ostracized. Entrapped by the range which locked up the colored people, Berenice depicts a very clear department on the basis of ethnic identity and race. The marginalization caused by racial elegance is even more exemplified by the description of the home of Freaks. Within the Residence of Geek, the “Wild Nigger knocked the rat’s head over his squatted knee and cheated the fur and crunched and gobbled and exhibited his money grubbing Wild Nigger eyes” (20). The man is characterized extremely scornfully, since indicated by the fact that he eats your head off of a rat and for that reason embodies the qualities of any wild dog. These characteristics are caused by the population of black people, as the phrase nigger commonly applied to every blacks in the period period. Furthermore, the racial marginalization in the period period is usually exemplified by fact that the person is on display in the House from the Freaks simply on the basis of his racial identity, therefore implying that all Photography equipment Americans convey these same qualities.
Last but not least, through the marriage between the gift and Frankie, McCullers features the effects of libido in causing Frankie’s understanding of immorality and evil. Frankie’s sexual expansion seems to main from her desire to be an adult. This is exemplified by the fact that she marvels at the notion of going on a “date, a cultivated word used by older girls” (74). Nevertheless , when confronted by her first true sexual experience with the jewellry, the room which will she is lured to is definitely described with “a goblet pitcher packed with water and a half-eaten package of cinnamon rolls covered in blue topping and excess fat flies” (135). The explanation of the cinnamon rolls, which are typically linked to warmth and sweetness, will be representative of Frankie’s naïve and innocent understanding of sexual, which generally seems to relate more to her yearning maturity and being approved. Furthermore, the blue icing, a color which is often associated with maturity and stableness, symbolizes her desire for maturity. However , this kind of depiction of sweetness and warmth is juxtaposed along with the rot and corrosion associated with lures. This signifies her conclusion of the authentic nature of sex, which will seems to fall short of the suggestions that she had conjured of maturity and therefore being accepted. Furthermore, her tough realization with the true characteristics of sex is exemplified by the explanation of the enthusiast inviting Frankie into his room, where he “grasps her skirt and, limpened by freight, [Frankie] was pulled down next to him for the bed The lady felt his arms about her and smelled his sweaty shirt” (136). His oppressive sexual dominance, since noted by the fact that she smells his sweat, which can be typically connected with masculinity and strength, can be further strong by the explanation of him wrapping his arms and constraining her beneath him. This contradicts the idyllic vision that Frankie acquired perceived, which depended after the naïve belief that most people, such as the soldier, experienced good moral intentions. Nevertheless , the true motives maintained by the soldier, since exemplified simply by his make an effort to rape her, seems to be associated with an immoral lust pertaining to power and dominance rooting from his human weakness and insecurities. This relationship provides an epiphany for Frankie, in which she actually is exposed to the cruel reality of immorality and evil, which will seemed to confront her temperament that all people hold beliefs in line with her own.
“We most of us somehow caught. We created this way or perhaps that way and we don’t know how come. But we all caught anyhow” (119). This kind of quote by Berenice Sadie Brown, a colored woman marginalized from the rest of society in the period period, depicts the reality that division is a fundamental piece of being human. In the book Member of the wedding ceremony, Frankie is usually gradually exposed to the harsh truth of this fact through her numerous brushes with interpersonal constructs, changing her notion of the world significantly. Despite her naïve predisposition that everybody is unified beneath the same beliefs and her own feelings of being ostracized, she shortly finds, through her several experiences and relationships, that no person is definitely free from department, particularly according to the racial, male or female, and sex constructs that dominated culture during the time period.
McCullers, Carson. Member of the Wedding. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Firm, 1946. Print.