| My thoughts
In chapter six, Nomi creates a very vivid memory of watching two black Mennonite dresses “flying around like crazy birds way up in the sky”. As she watched them fly all the way to her grandmother’s yard where she was, she remained fascinated, calling that, “even the best thing that ever happened to her.” She then said goodbye to the fallen dress when the spectacular show ended, like a little child who didn’t know the difference between a dress and a person. Shortly after recalling that memory, she asks Travis to stop by her grandma’s place so she can search for the dress.
I chose these two scenes to discuss why I found their significance confusing and how I interpreted it.
My first reaction to Nomi’s memory of the two flying black dresses was one of slight confusion, as I wondered why this memory would be of such importance to her. She spoke highly of watching the dresses, saying, “it was the best thing that ever happened to me…”. What was more perplexing was when she went back and searched for the other black dress that had landed on top of her grandmother’s barn, yet ended up disappointed when it wasn’t there. This is a different side of Nomi displayed here, as she usually tries to keep up a tough façade while speaking of the many depressing memories in her life. It caused me to think that she is perhaps in that stage of adolescence where we cling to the memories of our childhood and pursue a connection of our past selves to our present and future selves. This could be one of her favourite memories because she felt watching the dresses was so real and fascinating as a child, that she wants to experience the same sense of freedom the two dresses displayed while dancing in the wind.
In another sense, the strong wind almost seemed to be liberating the two black Mennonite dresses from the constricting clothesline. In this perspective, it could almost be like Tash and Trudie were symbolized by the two...
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