Character Connection

Topics: Carson McCullers, Stevie Wonder, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe Pages: 3 (911 words) Published: October 30, 2008
In Carson McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café, readers are introduced to a small suburban town and its local inhabitants. Readers follow a series of strange, charming, sad, and destructive events and explore the bonds between the residents. McCullers uses several literary devices such as parallelism, contrast, and suspense to help readers experience and understand the bonds that are made, and subsequently broken, by these characters. He also uses these devices to create different emotions in readers throughout the book, and allow them to truly enjoy the scene. In this novel, there are three main characters that are focused on: Miss Amelia, Cousin Lymon, and Marvin Macy. McCullers creates unique and at times disturbing bonds between each of these characters. Each relationship follows a similar set of strange events, which is followed by an unhappy ending. The first relationship between the three that readers are introduced to is that between Miss Amelia and Marvin Macy. Upon falling in love with Miss Amelia, Marvin Macy transforms from a malevolent character to a male sweetheart. “He learned good manners: he trained himself to rise and give his chair to a lady, and he quit swearing and fighting and using holy names in vain”(McCullers 123). Along with his heart he gives Miss Amelia all of his possessions. After only ten days of being married, however, Macy leaves town. Miss Amelia does not show physical or emotional attachment to Macy and refuses to sleep with him. Despite his efforts, Macy cannot get Miss Amelia to return his love, and he leaves. The next relationship that readers are introduced to is that between Miss Amelia and Cousin Lymon. This time, however, the tables are turned. In this relationship it is Miss Amelia who is infantilized with Cousin Lymon. Miss Amelia spoils and treats Cousin Lymon to everything he desires, but he does not show affection in return. Instead he is critical and demanding. Eventually, Cousin Lymon becomes detached from Miss...
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