In the chapter of Edward Bloor's Tangerine titled "September 7," why does Mrs. Fisher ignore Mr. Fisher when she goes to bed?

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liesljohnson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mrs. Fisher ignored her husband when she went up to bed because she was angry with him; she was giving him the silent treatment. She wanted Mr. Fisher to speak up and agree with her in front of the group, and he didn't, which was annoying and embarrassing for her.

They'd just held a meeting at their home during which Mrs. Fisher was eager to protect her son Erik, and the rest of the members of the football team, by convincing the football coach to schedule the practice sessions for the morning instead of the afternoon, so as to avoid any more lightning strikes. One had just claimed the life of Mike Costello, another boy on the team.

Mr. Fisher did not speak up during the meeting to support Mrs. Fisher's ideas, yet a neighbor of theirs, Mr. Donnelly, did speak up for this purpose. Paul notices that his mom makes a point of thanking Mr. Donnelly right in front of his dad, which clearly shows how Mrs. Fisher is both grateful to this neighbor and irritated with her own husband for failing to lend his support during the meeting.

Take a close look at the conflict here in this chapter, and you'll understand the nature of the entire novel's conflict. Paul's mom is angry because her husband didn't speak. And she's showing that anger by refusing to speak. There is a serious lack of communication in the family: the family members aren't giving voice to their problems or issues; they aren't discussing them, and the issues as a result are becoming worse. So are the relationships among the family members.