The Member of the Wedding

by Carson McCullers

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What would Frankie say about her true feelings for her father if uninterrupted?

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Mr. Addams is presented largely through his absence. He works in his jewelry store and when at home is generally inattentive, rarely speaking to Frankie. Frankie's mother died when Frankie was an infant. It seems that father and daughter take each other for granted and that he assumes no real harm can come to her in a small town. Berenice, the African American housekeeper, serves as the primary parent figure in the home.

The distance in their relationship is emphasized when Frankie decides to go off with Jarvis and Janice and tells Berenice but not her father. He finds out only after the wedding, when she gets into the car with the newlyweds. He literally has to pull her out of the car. Positive that she had found the solution to her pre-adolescent anguish, Frankie has a hysterical, toddler-like meltdown.

At first stern and angry, her father quickly realizes this is a serious situation and gently but teasingly asks her why she would want to leave him old and alone. The deep love that Frankie offers toward the couple is perhaps the way she feels about her father as well, along with the exclusion she experiences. In her mind, they have become “the we of me” to compensate for her not feeling part of her father’s life. She feels that it is “not fair” that she is not included in any “we.” If she fully articulated her feelings, she would probably also express her disappointment at his neglect.

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