Bitter, strident and alcoholic
evidence: “she takes a drink from a glass of whiskey” (54) inference: Beatrice indulges herself with alcohol.
Disappointed with life
evidence: “you see, everybody, I spent today taking stock of my life and I’ve come up with zero. I added up all the separate departments and the total reads up zero… zero zero zero….” (55) inference: the fact that Beatrice describes her life as numerous zeros suggest that she is disappointed with life, and has achieved nothing out of it. evidence: “half-life! You want to know what a half-life is like, just ask me. You’re looking at the original half-life! I got stuck with a daughter with half a mind; another one who’s half a test tube; half a husband – a house full of rabbit crap – and half a corpse! (36) inference: Beatrice describes herself as half-life, showing that her life is meaningless and boring. She also describes her family members or people around her as “halves”, and this suggests that her life is never complete. Everything is half to her. It’s as though they will never be full. evidence: “what’s there left for me?” (53)
inference: Beatrice is feeling lost in a world of nothing. She has lost her husband, her father, and yearns for her daughters’ love. Hence she this left a scar in her heart and causes her to feel that there is nothing left in the world for her. evidence: “Before I knew what happened I lost my dancing legs and got varicose legs. Beautiful varicose legs. Do you know, everything I ever thought I’d be has exploded!” (33) inference: regretful and dwells on her past. Beatrice could not let go of what happened in the past and hence results in her disappointment with life. evidence: “do you know what I’d been now if it wasn’t for this mud pool I got sucked into? 1’d probably be a dancer. Ms Betty Frank, the best dance of the class of 19…” (32) inference: failed to pursue her dream and feels very regretful because of this. Hence, she becomes disappointed with life. Lives her life in despair
evidence: “HOW COULD YOU LET THAT MAN CALL HOME!”
Filled with pain and hostility
evidence: “I hate the world” (97)
inference: this statement goes to show how deep the scar, made by her husband who abandons her; her classmates that mocked and called her “betty the loon” has left in her heart. And hence result in her nolonger trusting others, and enclosing herself in a world of her own. A source of destructive energy
evidence: “she makes a motion behind nanny’s back as if she’s going to smack her on the head with the spoon. … Matilda! Watch me give nanny her spoon” (30) inference: Beatrice sets a bad example for Tillie by doing disrespectful acts to nanny and even asking Tillie to watch. By doing so, she is being a source of destructive energy, influencing her daughters at the same time.
Beatrice emitting gamma rays – takes hostility and bitterness on the world Recluse who shuffles around the house
Social world only comprises of nanny, Tillie, ruth, Mr. Goodman, Dr. Berg How Beatrice affects her daughters:
By emitting gamma rays
By abdicating her responsibility as a parent
By abusing ruth & Tillie
By being the controller in a toxic relationship
Effect on Ruth
(89) “the seeds closest to the gamma source were killed or yield dwarf plant.”
Ruth puts on a tough façade
evidence: “ruth screams” (41)
inference: the fact that she has night mares and convulsions shows that the tough appearance is puts up by her. Ruth being closest to Beatrice:
Smoking to gether
Ruth scratching beatrice’s back (Tillie doesn’t scratches her mother’s back) Ruth having a favorite story about Beatrice past
Ruth resembles the seeds that are closest to the gamma source, Beatrice. As such, she has been deeply affected by her mother, and is gradually becoming like...