dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

The ignorance factor........

In a letter she recently sent to Coffee Talk, hoppytoad79 made an important point that explains a lot of what we've seen here in the New-Ruin era; to put it bluntly, John has no idea who the Hell Elly is. As she points out, he doesn't seem to notice or care that the cruel remarks he makes about her weight, (lack of) intellect and appearance are like a punch to the gut, he doesn't realize that being a stay-at-home mother is as hard, if not harder, than his dental practice, he regards her wants, aspirations and desires to be an obstacle to the unquestioning performance of the wifely duties that he expects of her and generally doesn't think of her as someone he needs to as such respect, let alone get to know as a person. His smug ignorance of the people around him does not stop with the little woman; he also doesn't know who Michael is. Since Elly is 'supposed' to keep the kids away from him while he sits on his ass and reads his paper, all he sees is a loud, noisy little boy who doesn't give him the respect he believes due to him. He has no idea how threatened his son feels and has no inclination to care; what he wants is immediate obedience from the little boy in the striped shirt. Lizzie is even less well know; all he expects of her is that she be cute and not make noise. This is bad enough but one is forced to realize that John is equally unknown to those around him; since he will not discuss his hopes and dreams for fear of looking soft, Elly has no real idea who she married. She doesn't know that he married the first woman he ever really dated seriously to avoid a dating scene that made him feel awkward just as she doesn't know that the most he has the courage to do is ogle pretty girls. She also doesn't know who Michael really is because she doesn't want to get to know him because he's too young to be worth it. This tolerance they have for not knowing who one another are, this aggressive lack of curiosity as to the irrelevant details of each other's boring lives causes that odd compartmentalization I've commented on. The end result is that the Pattermanse is not inhabited by a family as we understand it but by a group of strangers who share a surname.

Tags: one big oblivious family

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