WEGG Question #23 ~ After the Party

by Peter Hedges

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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WEGG Question #23 ~ After the Party

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:48 am

Why does Momma go upstairs after the party?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:51 am

I could just say to go upstairs to die but that seems to obvious. But I'm not sure at the moment. Perhaps she know the effort to get there will kill her or that she no longer feels she has to protect the family by staying downstairs, now that she ahs seen Arnie turn 18.

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Unread postby Red Shoes » Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:01 am

I actually think it is that simple, GG. I think she knows that she will die soon (maybe not that it will be quite that soon, but that she hasn't got long left), and now that she's seen Arnie turn 18 she's happy to face the music. She just would like to be comfortable one more time in her own bed before she passes away.

It seems a fairly symbolic gesture to the family too - as if she wants to remove herself from the midst of them now. She has been the centre of that household, both physically and "spiritually" (for want of a better word?), for pretty much as long as they all remember, and now she is saying right, it's done, now I can remove myself again, return to the periphery and let you all go on without me.
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Unread postby SamIam » Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:27 am

She goes upstairs because she has done what she has waited to do. She saw him turn 18 and now she can die peacefully because she lived long enough for that. She feels they can go on without her now because Arnie turned 18. She is finally at peace with herself and her family. She comes to terms with her mortality and is at peace with the whole thing.

I agree with Red Shoes, where she says that Momma can finally remove herself from them. She can get out of their hair now so to speak. She is finally comfortable with it.
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Unread postby Iceflower » Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:30 am

I agree with you all that she as done her task, waiting for Arnie to turn 18. and now she doesn't need to live more and make the others work hard for her. She wants to ease there work a little.

As, Red Shoes said, she removes herself from them.
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Unread postby Parlez » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:36 am

Accord. Momma's been taking up all the physical and emotional space in the 'living' room and now it's time for her to MOVE.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:46 am

Do you all see it as a selfish act on her part or the opposite?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Linda Lee » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:52 am

She has reached her goal and can rest now. I don't think she knew that she would die that night, but she said she had forgiven God because he allowed Arnie to live to be 18. So perhaps she did have a premonition.

Actually, it was probably the first unselfish thing she had done in a long time.
Last edited by Linda Lee on Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Iceflower » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:52 am

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Do you all see it as a selfish act on her part or the opposite?


it is kinda selfish, because she believes noone cares for her, but it is also a sort of natural for her as well. But I think it's most selfish and maybe she does it making the children feel pity for her not shame anymore.

Just read what Linda Lee wrote, and I agree on that as well.
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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:03 pm

Not selfish, no.

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Unread postby Endora » Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:25 pm

Gilbert's Girl wrote:Not selfish, no.


That's what I think too. As someone said, the first unselfish thing she'd done for years. And yes, I think she did know this was the end for her.
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:36 pm

I'd like to think that Momma was unselfishly removing herself as an encumbrance in their lives now that Arnie was an 'adult,' but I can't quite buy it. I like the idea that she symbolically removed herself from the 'living room' (as Red Shoes and Parlez said), but, if she was planning to die, it would have been more thoughtful to let it happen where they could get her OUT! Maybe she'd completely lost control of her situation, but I'd hope that an unselfish mom of five kids would try to get her life together and start to be a real mom to her kids rather than abandon them. Have to admit, though, that in Momma's case it was probably best that she just go up in flames. Yikes! :-O
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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:22 pm

Betty Sue wrote:I'd like to think that Momma was unselfishly removing herself as an encumbrance in their lives now that Arnie was an 'adult,' but I can't quite buy it. I like the idea that she symbolically removed herself from the 'living room' (as Red Shoes and Parlez said), but, if she was planning to die, it would have been more thoughtful to let it happen where they could get her OUT! Maybe she'd completely lost control of her situation, but I'd hope that an unselfish mom of five kids would try to get her life together and start to be a real mom to her kids rather than abandon them. Have to admit, though, that in Momma's case it was probably best that she just go up in flames. Yikes! :-O


On the other hand you could look at it as just a way for the story to end more dramatically, better for her to go upstairs where they can't get her out so that leads to Gilbert deciding on burning the house down with her in it.

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:25 pm

Gilbert's Girl wrote:On the other hand you could look at it as just a way for the story to end more dramatically, better for her to go upstairs where they can't get her out so that leads to Gilbert deciding on burning the house down with her in it.

Actually, that was my first thought. Dramatically, it works! :cool:
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Unread postby Liz » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:33 pm

Endora wrote:
Gilbert's Girl wrote:Not selfish, no.


That's what I think too. As someone said, the first unselfish thing she'd done for years. And yes, I think she did know this was the end for her.


We have an accord. I always thought she had gone upstairs to die. She had willed herself to live long enough to see Arnie's 18th birthday. That was her goal in life. She managed to exist that long, and she could now rest.
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