does joe grow closer or further from his mother after her rape?
The rape of joe’s mother, Geraldine, is one of the major focuses of this novel, The Round House. A traumatic experience such as this is sure to change relationship of the family. The subject of rape changes his/her mood and beliefs to help coop or explain what has happened. This in turn effects the people surrounding him/her. In Geraldine’s case, she falls into deep depression, shuts herself from the world, and has minimum contact with her family. This puts a strain on her relationship with her son, Joe. There are many signs showing that Joe’s and Geraldine’s relationship is falling apart.
For example Geraldine uses Joe as an outlet for her anger. She sometimes yells or comes off as defensive toward Joe. Geraldine once said to joe “now you listen to me, Joe. You will not badger me or harass me. You will leave me to think the way I want to think, here” (90). She tries to display dominance over what she considers hers and therefore gives herself a sense of control and security. Most of their interactions is dictated by Geraldine and any form of contact requires her permission. For instance when Joe tries to get her to look at the garden she refuses to look. She instead “turned over, away from me” (87). Anything that Joe suggest is shot down and every action she takes is of her own choice. Because of this new attitude, Geraldine and Joe grow further apart. Even if Geraldine does end up getting confidence and forgiving herself, I feel that Joe will have lost all hope and trust in her. Either way, this mother-son relationship is doomed to end badly.
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