dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

When she explodes.....

I've already written about the fact that Elly's stooped posture sends people that she's a submissive type coping with exhaustion and an unrealistic fear of being the victim of aggression and how her over-the-top reaction to non-events makes her look like a too-easily baffled nitwit with a poor grasp on this whole 'cause and effect' thing her dad tried telling her about once and a tendency to mindlessly overestimate the consequences of the trivial. Today, I'd like to talk about another common reaction and what it says about her: her tendency to rage brainlessly away at imagined slights.

The two examples that can be used to demonstrate my point are a decade or so apart. The first one has a bored Michael wonder exactly how long Elly's latest self-serving tirade about how put-upon she is and how terrible a child he is will last this time. Rather than recognize that she's perceived as a dreary old nag who can't stand the people around her and who will not shut up about how they disappoint her because they hate her, Elly erupts like a volcano.

The second telling example almost doesn't need a detailed summary: the phone book strip. Why it is that Elly thinks the customer has been rude to her is a baffling little mystery but her reaction of biting through a four-inch thick telephone book out of frustrated rage is not mysterious at all. For some reason, the imagined slight has provoked a witlessly inappropriate respone.

What Lynn loses sight of when she has Elly simply flip out and throw a tantrum like an angry child when she perceives herself as having been slighted is that instead of having made her into a sympathetic everywoman, she's made her into a short-tempered, unlikeable lunatic spoiling for a chance to scream about how awful everyone else but her is.
Tags: unfortunate implications theatre

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