Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Same but Different

In Truman Capote's Summer Crossing, a young woman named Grady falls in love with young man (Clyde) and lets that love control her life. Grady's parents are away on holiday and her sister is busy with her own family. During the summer of this young love Grady's life spirals out of control when she finds herself pregnant and married to a man she barely knows. She regains control by driving herself and her friends off of the Queensboro Bridge. 

In this novel Grady was searching for a comfort. She thought she found that comfort from Clyde. Why were they attracted to one another? I think one can answer this question by looking at their home lives.

Grady lived a life that was fantastical. Her parents had houses in New York, Connecticut and in Europe. She is used to extravagance and surplus. He family is not on that relies on another for emotional support. Her mother idealizes her daughters. She wants Grady to be something that Grady has no intention of ever being. Her mother wants her to play the role of a young wealthy woman in New York: be fancy, go to balls, conduct herself accordingly. There is not too much involvement from her father and Grady's sister is the ideal that her mother yearns for.  This leaves Grady searching for acceptance and love, two things that are traditionally found at home, from outside sources which in this case, is Clyde.

While Grady is always trying to find a home, Clyde is always trying to leave his. At his home he has a lot of responsibility. He helps care for his siblings and he is the apple of his mom's eye, but his family tries very much to control his life. They are close but there is this constant pressure to conform. Much like Grady's mom, Clyde's mom wanted Clyde to live the life she had imagined for him ever since he was little boy. 

Both Clyde and Grady were searching for comfort in another. Clyde was looking for a place without a preconceived notion of who he could have been, be it  a lawyer or a baseball player. Grady was searching for the same thing, but for different reasons. She wanted to have a place to let her hair down and just be herself and she thought she had found that in Clyde. 

The differences in the closeness they have with the families was a challenge to them. Grady had a hard time being in Clyde's neighborhood, much less his house, and Clyde avoided going Grady's house for a while before finally caving. The homes of one another were so foreign to them that they physically had reactions to invading that personal space of one another's. They found a home, albeit a brief one, in each other. And even though it was fleeting, at least they were able to experience it. 

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more. People often criticize relationships because they are unstable. However, at least they experience it. At least for a short period of time they were able to find home in each other. If they would have been sensible and listened to what everyone was telling them, then maybe they wouldn't have experienced home at all.