The Importance of Family in McCullers' The Member of the Wedding
"I don't need my mother or my father anymore. I am a teenager, who needs them? I can definitely live on my own." Carson McCullers wrote a novel, The Member of the Wedding (1946), which put a twelve-year-old girl, Frankie, in the situation of leaving her family and hometown. After last year, her best friend moved away and she was left alone. She used to be very popular and hung out in all of the clubhouses around town. Now, she was not invited to any of them. Frankie is also very jealous of her older brother and his fiancé because they get to travel all over the world. At their wedding, she plans to go off with them, and explore the world as three. Her father's helper, Berenice Sadie Brown, who is an African-American, tries to explain why she needs to stay here with her father. Not listening, she packs her bags with all of her belongings, and waits for the wedding.
The wedding is celebrated an hour away from her hometown, so they are going to travel on a train. Every night, she would think about the long train ride over, but knew in the end, she would be away from the awful town. John Henry, her six-year-old cousin, always follows her around everywhere that she goes. He told her that he was running away with her, where ever she decided to go. After realizing that her brother was not going to let her stay with them, she runs away into the night. John Henry catches her, and wakes up her father. Now, she is being chased by the police. Does she get away, or will the law catch up to her?
The point of view within this novel is first person. The reader is always with Frankie, the main character of the novel. Frankie is the narrator of the novel, so the readers have access to all of her thoughts. The author interprets Frankie's evil thoughts in a very unique way. We, as the reader, do not know when she is mad until she goes and gets a knife, and when she mentions that she is the best knife thrower in town. For example, on page 26, Frankie and Berenice were talking about men and boys. This reminded Frankie of her last boyfriend, which now she hated. The author states, "...she opened the drawer of the kitchen table and selected a long sharp butcher knife." She took the butcher knife to cut at her toenails. Instead of grabbing a...