the member of the wedding Essay

Submitted By kitty987654321
Words: 905
Pages: 4

Every novel from horror to romance has one literary element in common. The element shared in each novel is the theme, which makes each novel different no matter how similar the plots are. Each author expresses the message of the novel through the theme in unique ways. In The Member of The Wedding by Carson McCullers, the theme is spread out throughout the novel from the very first sentence to the last. McCullers creates the theme of division, which is seen in two different aspects, by using symbolism and metaphors throughout the novel entangling them together to create a vast and more elaborate theme.
The first aspect to the major theme of division is the concept of division between people. McCullers creates this theme using symbolism, as seen throughout the novel in many different places. The most prominent display of symbolism is with the constant mention of eye colors. This symbol of the eye colors specifically relates to the rules of life that separate one person from another. “When Berenice gets a faraway look in her eye, remembering the past, F. Jasmine asks her about Ludie Freeman, the man she was married to in Cincinnati a long time ago, but who died. They talk about dead people they’ve known and about Berenice’s current beau, T.T., whom F. Jasmine thinks Berenice should marry. Berenice says he does not “make her shiver,” (92). Berenice has one glass eye, which is blue, while the other is brown. This split in eye color plays on the major theme of division, which unravels her inner conflict. Berenice is torn between her desires to remain young and free or to settle down with her beau T. T. Another example of symbolism is the inability to peer at life through another person’s eyes, retaining to the theme of the division between people. “She thinks to explain the situation to John Henry. But looking into his eyes, she sees that he will not understand. She is reminded of a drawing he made of a telephone pole technician who, in profile, still had two eyes facing outward, much like a Cubist Picasso painting. She tried to get him to explain why he had done this, but neither one could understand each other, so she just gave up,” (135). She later came to the conclusion that it was impossible to understand John Henry’s point of view due to the difference in age and maturity between them. Eyes were not the only symbol used that Carson McCullers used to help express and create her theme throughout the novel, however it was the most significant. Metaphorically games play a role in creating the theme, specifically card games and their components.
The universal rules of life are the second element the theme has to do with. The way that Carson McCullers organizes her novel helps to show Frankie’s difficulty with following life’s universal rules by writing out of chronological order. As Frankie attempts to grow up and seek membership into the adult world, she discovers that certain life rules hinder her hopes. The most important rule has to do with the fact that married couples only include two people, excluding Frankie out of her dream of going away with Janice and Jarvis after the wedding. John Henry helps Frankie to see that married couples only include two people and the sexual connection between them. He accomplishes this at one point when Frankie, him and Berenice play cards in the novel. In the beginning, Frankie is exasperated with John Henry for not