Through the descriptions Allison uses for her father and her family so far into the novel, I am unsure about her true feelings regarding them. The way they act in regards to one another gives more of a feeling of “roommates” rather than mother and father, husband and wife, even brother and sister. Allison directly states that her father treated the furniture as children and the children as furniture. In these chapters we also learn that Allison’s father is homosexual and has been having homosexual affairs that Allison’s mother has been aware of. If she is aware of these affairs for an extended period of time, what would make her stay in this clearly loveless relationship? It could be argued that they keep the marriage for the “sake of the children” but after observing the detached way that Allison’s mother and father interact with her and her brothers, I would argue that this is not the case. No affection is given to the children, nor is attention paid to them. Could it be, just like her father’s inability to leave far from home, he is scared of change? Is it this fear of change that influences him to “commit suicide” by getting in the way of the truck when the mother asks for a divorce? Or does his suicide have nothing to do with the divorce and is more correlated with his romanticization of death and literature?
- Why do you think that Allison’s parents remain together even if the mother is aware of Allison’s father’s homosexual affairs? Do you think the parent’s love each other in another way?
- What do you think of Allison’s mother’s reaction to Allison telling her mother that she is lesbian? Especially considering the way she reveals Bruce’s homosexuality when she discovers the news.
- Do you think Allison’s brothers view their parents in the same light as Allison does? What evidence is there to support your thinking?