Monday, April 4, 2011

The idea of lying

In class, we referenced the novel Running with Scissors. Last semester, I watched the movie and read the book. Lauren's mother reminds alot of Augusten's mother, especially when she begins her writing. She is filled with a desire to write and a fantasy to be published, but when she is rejected, she sips a drink of watery depression and lies "in a darkened room for hours" (64).
This novel seems to be filled with images of lying, both the communication and position form. For instance, in this novel, you never know which part of Lauren's tale is true. She makes up people and references them in her writing, like Hayward Krieger. She also tells of memories of lying, like to Sarah Kushner, to whom she told that she had cancer. She learns how to lie from her mother, who goes on an errand to see Suki Israel and comes back hours later only to say that "it's been minutes" (68). Lauren seems to lie to communicate. However, her epilepsy is a form of communication with her mother. The idea of physically lying down or falling to lie down is mentioned in the novel. When her mother lies down, the reader sees who she really is. For instance, earlier in the novel, Lauren comes into her parents' room on vacation and sees her mother lying down. In that scene, the mother is conveying the truth of her real life to her daughter. When the mother is standing or sitting, she pretends to be happy, pleasant, perfect. However, when she lies down, her true life shows through, like when she was rejected and she lied down for a long period of time.
When Lauren is standing up, she is worried about having seizures, etc. However, when she is lying down, she is fine. For example, when she was going through the first operation with Dr. Deu, he was stimulating her visual cortex and she began to feel different, pleasurable sensations. It seems that when she in lying down in the hospital, she doesn't want to leave and is happy. She makes friends with the nurses. She seems relaxed. After a seizure, the doctors tell her to "stay still. Lie down. Rest" to show the symobolism of "lying" (66). The quote, "the Saltonstall, the Peter Bent Brigham, the Lying-In, all wonderful, rhythmic names, all old brick buildings with twinkling views of the city," have pleasant sounding connatations that make the reader feel that Lauren is happy in the hospital setting (66).
Apparently, epilepsy has four chapters, like the book. The last stage is called the recovery stage. Maybe this too, is symbolic. Maybe Lauren is recovering from a childhood of lies and attempts to please her mother, and moving onto a stage of relaxation and growth.

No comments:

Post a Comment