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In The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, is Beatrice guilty of...

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sherryseah | Student, Grade 9 | Salutatorian

Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:19 PM via web

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In The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, is Beatrice guilty of intimidation, guilt-tripping, shaming, charm, and turning the tables? 

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:16 PM (Answer #1)

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Beatrice is certainly guilty of turning the tables. She blames part of the community's conception of herself on the children and how they behave. But clearly, it is Beatrice's own behavior that reflects poorly on herself and on her children.

Beatrice does intimidate (the children, teachers and other parents; even sarcastically with Nanny). And Beatrice does use guilt and shame to get Ruth and Tillie to do more around the house. As far as charm, there is an element to Beatrice's character that does include some amount of charisma. It seems that, at some time in her past, she used to be popular or at least filled with some amount of hope. This seems to have been dashed partly at having to deal with the death of her father. Beatrice calms Ruth down with old stories about her father, particularly the story about the vegetable cart. So, there is a charm to these old stories especially since Beatrice speaks of them as if they conjure a time when she (Beatrice) was actually happy. But overall, in the context of the play, she is much more intimidating and oppressive than she is calming or nostalgic.

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