Cats Eye ppt 2V: WRINGER (continued)
The WringerA whole person could go through the wringer and come out flat, neat,completed, like a flower pressed in a book.No longer a person, but no longer suffering.
EXCUSESUses helping mother to avoid play.Church with the Smeaths another place to be judgedIs it wrong to be right? How right should I be, to be perfect?Elaine is a failure here as she doesnt bring other members of her family. My failure to produce these other members of my family tells against me.
Mr SmeathUses Elaine conspiratoriallyElaine thinks its funny. Dont you Elaine?He is a squat, balding, flabby man, but still a man. He does not judge me.Cordelia contemptuous of her ignorance (what a stupe)Mr Smeath and Stephen are the outrageous, the subversive...Of Grace and Mrs Smeath, of tidy paper ladies pasted into scrapbooks. Cordelia ought to be on this side too. Sometimes she is, sometimes she isnt. Its hard to tell
Wind in the WillowsElaine dreading the play doesnt know play etiquette.Cordelia is a weasel, cant tell her from all the other weasels. She could be anywhere.Cunning, duplicitous creatures
ChristmasA Barbara Ann Scott doll puts it back in tissue; does not want it watching her.Mr Banerji to dinner.Elaines father offers refuge in the shared world of biology.Wild things are elusive and wily and look out for themselves. I divide the people I know into tame and wild.Cordelia is wild
BabysittingBrian Feinstein, never cries, but gives mother thinking time. Paid in nickels instead of quarters counts/sorts money into piles of cut-off heads. Control? Harrassment Grace Feinstein is a Jewish name. Kike is not a word we use CordeliaElaine does not feel secure in herself, and this uncertainty extends to BrianBrian is not safe with me.
Name callingWhat rhymes with Elaine painJew babyWhats a man who catches bugs?
Elaine feels betrayed her Dad.Brian not safe with her. I have only a limited ability to say no.
Buying loveSpends nickel heads on lollies for friends. In the moment just before giving, I am loved.There will be no end to imperfectionCriticised no matter what she does.Starts to throw upI feel safe, small, wrapped in my illness as if in cotton wool.Another physical side-effect of the bullying, and a way to escape the torment.
SPRINGThe buds turn yellow, the skipping ropes come out. Menace hinted at in the fate of the lady in the skipping rhyme. Twenty-four skiddoo...is it the end of her altogether? Why is Elaine not sorry for her?The marbles return.Her own experiences and mindset influences the way she interprets the world. They sound to me like ghosts, or like animals caught in a trap: thin wails of exhausted pain.
Her blue cats eyeThe eye part of it, inside its crystal sphere, is so blue, so pure. Its like something frozen in the ice.Cordelia notices her playing with it in her pocket. Protects Elaine. Sometimes when I have it with me I can see the way it sees.She can observe the world at a distance, as an artist rather than as a victimI can see people moving like bright animated dolls...I can look at their shapes and sizes, their colours, without feeling anything else about them. I am alive in my eyes only.
Leaving Toronto for summerToronto a smear of brownish air on the horizon, like smoke from a distant burning.Elaine feels relief my throat is no longer tight and her body starts to heal.Whilst the girls condemn her for saying nothing, away from Toronto, Elaine can lapse into wordlessness. I can be free of words now
VI: CATS EYEHer mother cooking Pressure Cooker series Wanted her timeless. There is no such thing.These pictures of her, like everything else, are drenched in time.Earth Goddess - hilarious in view of her mothers dislike of housework.Elaine claims it was not a work about feminine oppression it was only my mother cooking but the painting does seem very deliberate, with her mother fading out of the home in which she didnt enjoy cooking, and fading into the camping environment in which she seemed more at home.
This is none of my business.Shes only drunk. ... What does he mean only?Dont leave me. she says. Oh God. Dont leave me all alone.Im a sucker, Im a bleeding heart. Theres a cut in my heart, it bleeds money.I walk away from her, guilt on my hands, absolving myselfShe sees Cordelias eyes. Foreshadows the fact that she did not help Cordelia.
The Fall return to cityCordelia harsher, more relentless.Shes backing me towards an edgeMiss Stuart popular, new teacher.Cats eye in pocket, with the help of its power I retreat back into my eyes.Wants to become invisible. Fantasises about death, what Cordelia might make her do.I dont want to do these things, Im afraid of them...I hear her kind voice inside my head. Do it. Come on. I would be doing these things to please her.
Muffin makingYou dont have to play with them, my mother says. There must be other little girls you can play with instead.Elaines Mum is independent walks in ravine by herself. She does not inhabit the house, the way other mothers do.
Mums adviceSticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.Dont be spineless. Sardines no backbones.I wish I knew what to do ...Now I know what Ive been suspecting: as far as this thing is concerned, she is powerless.Mother seems unsympathetic, but she too is out of her depth
Mr BanerjiCordelias pocket mirror to get Elaine to see her bitten lips.Bridge partiesFellow feeling with anotheroutsider:But if he can deal with whatever it is thats after him, and something is, then so can I.
Royal visitPrincess Elizabeth to Toronto to drive past mud- mountains.
Elaine hopes that something will happen for me on that day. Something will change.
Art at SchoolMiss Stuart likes art.Students draw what they do after school.Elaine draws blackness, night. Miss Stuart: so darruk.She doesnt say Ive drawn the wrong thing.Miss Stuarts touch glows briefly, like a blown-out match. Another outsider has offered Elaine understanding/sympathy.
Valentines DayBoys are my secret allies.Carol 10 3/4yrs Growing breastsLipstickJust wait till your father gets homeCarols father gave it to her good belt, buckle end, right across the bare bum.Girls can play at being women, but only to a certain degree. (Valentines = yes; make-up = no)
ConversatOpen day at the Zoology Dept.Elaine faints.Fainting is like stepping sideways, out of your own body, out of time or into another time. When you wake up its later. Time has gone on without you. It is a way for her to move through life without the pain.Can make herself faint.My eyes are open but Im not there.
VII: Our Lady of Perpetual HelpIn Jons bed when a woman throws a bag of warm spaghetti, sauce included over them. Elaine admires the courage of her bad manners. Honest, direct. It got things over with.I was a long way, then, from being able to do anything like it myself.
SUNDAYSOverhears Mrs Smeath talking to Mildred.Mildred: You dont think theyre being too hard on her?Mrs Smeath: Its Gods punishment. It serves her right.I hate Mrs Smeath, because what I thought was a secret, something going on among girls, among children, is not one. It has been discussed before, and tolerated. Mrs Smeath has known and approved.
Found outShe doesnt flinch, she isnt embarrassed or apologetic. Her bad heart floats in her body like an eye, an evil eye, it sees me.Elaine decides to stop praying God is on Mrs Smeaths side. God is not Our Father at all.Elaine cant forgive Mrs SmeathOstracised by group, finds picture of Virgin Mary. The Seven SorrowsDecides to pray to the Virgin. A kindred spirit, but also subversive; more Catholic that Protestant.
Foul playCordelia throws Elaines stupid hat in ravine.Ordered to retrieve it: Then youll be forgiven.Elaines not sure what will happen if she refuses. Something terrible.Up to her waist in ice cold water, counts to 100. The girls run.
VisionCold and shock sets in as lies on her back beside the creek.Nothing hurts any more.Sees Virgin Mary. She has been heard.Mother approaches, running.Telling the truth about Cordelia is still unthinkable for me.2 days off school.
RevengeCordelia: I think Elaine should be punished for telling on us, dont you?I see that I dont have to do what she says, and, worse and better, Ive never had to do what she says. I can do what I like.They have pushed her too far. She sees that its a game, and she refuses to play.
Breaking freeI keep walking...Nothing binds me to them. I am free. They need me for this, and I no longer need them. I am indifferent to them. Theres something hard in me, crystalline, a kernel of glass.After real trauma, Elaine has been hardened and is impervious to school yard torment.She refuses to play with them.Invincibility is appealing. Reading her brothers comics, she would like to have superpowers.
VIII: HALF a FACEElaine visits Catholic churches searching. Especially sought out the statues. Statues of the Virgin Mary approached with hope, always disappointed.They were dolls dressed up, insipid in blue and white, pious and lifeless.She is looking for a different version of iconic womanhood (apart from the Smeaths and catalogue ladies).
MexicoSees a Virgin of lost things.This Virgin is real, has a purpose. What has Elaine lost? Ben finds her on the floor. So?Comparison of Cordelia at 12/13 with her daughters the same folded arms, the same immobile face, the blank-eyed stare. So?How can you respond to someone who feels no remorse for her action.