Moving swiftly on... So, this week, we got to meet the lovely (excuse me, 'lovely') Gary and Caroline, eldest son and daughter in law of Enid and Alfred and all round terrible people. At one point, I did take a note that said 'Gary's not depressed- he's just an asshole', and while I stand by the second part of that statement, I'm willing to accept that he is depressed, but for very specific reasons- such as, his mother says things that make him dissatisfied with his life ('oh, you work all day and then do the cooking too? Doesn't sound right to me' THANK YOU ENID, FEMINIST ICON) and he's not as rich as he should be, and and he can't be right all the time even though he'd love to be and ARGH.
And then we get to the worst parents of them all, and was it just me or was it more than a tiny bit heartbreaking to see tiny Gary and Chip have to deal with their parents' moods and unfairness and also their complete-refusal-to-do-anything-except-what's-expected-of-them-to-the-detriment-of-everyone-around-them, yes I'm looking at you Alfred
"It was in their nature to throw their arms around [Alfred], but this nature had been corrected out of them. They stood and waited, like company subordinates, for the boss to speak."And it broke my heart just a tiny bit because those poor boys who just want to hug their daddy but they can't because he's an asshole and waaaaaaaaah
Edward Scissorhands just wanted to hug people too.
And no. I don't think we just let that explain away everything that these grown up people who make their own decisions do now, but I don't think we can just let it go either because the way you're brought up does have an impact on the way you behave, because that's kind of the context you exist in- Gary exists in a context where his dad should have made more money but wasn't bold enough, because that's all Enid ever talks about, and Chip lives in a context where he really likes boobs for some reason (yeah, I don't know either...)
Just to finish things off on a really happy note, can we talk about the part where Alfred rapes Enid? You might think I'm being kind of strong by using the word rape here, but by my calculations, Enid says no FOUR different times, and still Alfred has his way with her, feels guilty not for raping his wife but for getting his, ahem, fluids over his unborn child and vows to be nice to it always (thus giving a really easy explanation for his relationship with Denise). Which, fine, whatever, but REALLY Franzen? You're using rape as a means to character development of the rapist while Enid just stays silent about it? Fab.
On to the next part. Hopefully there aren't anymore marital rapes, because CHRIST don't make me smash things.