dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,
dreadedcandiru2
dreadedcandiru2

Elly Patterson: Cancon Eunice

The reason that I ended yesterday's essay with the reference to the screeching Southerner in the horrible poodle cut and the moss-green housedress is that For Better or For Worse sometimes reminds me of the "Family" range of sketches on the Carol Burnett show. Watching Elly screech in rage at mild indignations, take pleasure in holding grudges, blame everyone but herself for the chaos that surrounds her and above all totally insist on a self-serving misinterpretation of the past is why it's dead easy to write Elly of as being Canadian Eunice.

Another thing that unites them is that while Lynn herself would continue Elly's story in a way that would somehow reward her for being an idiot, reality would lead her to a more depressing future. This is akin to how Mama's Family is an alternate universe in which Thelma is more or less the fifth Golden Girl and lives on to a fantastic old age; the TV movie Eunice (in which Mama passes away) seems more like what would really happen. Eunice is forced to confront the fact that she lets her need to be thought well of, her inability to see that her beloved Daddy was a sumbitch, her denial of the fact that the football player she wanted to marry ended up as big a failure as the husband who left her and her fear of failure make her do things against her own self-interest. This is owing to the intervention of her brother Phillip who, having had his fill of her endless beefing about how he's lived a charmed, carefree life, flat-out tells her that she's talking fluent Horseshit. Granted, she lets herself get suckered into taking care of another whizzled-up old crone with an absence of gratitude but at least she knows why she's a doormat.

Elly was going to be subjected to that same conversation but since Jim hates confrontation and thinks that sabotaging arguments that need to occur means positive peace instead of negative peace, Phil Richards never got the chance to tell Elly that his life is far less carefree and easy than she would like to believe. Then again, since he realizes that Elly's need to be approved of by the worthless and fear of failure will keep her down and knowing about that would kill her, being the object of hatred and envy seems to be the gentlemanly thing to do.
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