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The Member of the Wedding: Novel Summary: Part Three, pp.143-149

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Part Three, pp.143-149

At a quarter to six on Sunday morning, Frances Addams rises with the rest of the household, and they board a bus to go to the wedding. After they have been on the road a while, however, Frances gets the uneasy feeling that the bus is going the wrong way; it seems to be heading south, through pitiful-looking towns and rows of cotton, rather than going north, to Winter Hill. She soon discovers that Winter Hill is not wintery at all, but completely southern.

By four o’clock in the afternoon, all of them are back on the bus and the wedding is over, and Frances is still crying and angry for the way it all went. She recalls how it was all wrong. The couple did not marry in a church, but in the living room of a brick house. The bride did not wear a trailing white dress, but instead she wore a suit. Janice has no time to talk to her; Jarvis treats her as if she is about five years old, a kid sister to roughhouse with. At no point did she have a chance to tell them of her plans, and when it came time for the couple to leave, she made a spectacle of herself, refusing to get out of their car, crying and yelling for them to take her along, ending up in the dust of the road as they drove off.

On the bus, Berenice tries to comfort her, saying she will throw a party for Frances and her friends once she gets back into school. Frances responds rather uncharitably, so Berenice gives up trying to talk to her the rest of the ride home. As they come into town, a storm threatens but does not rain. Frances thinks, meanly, that Berenice’s hopes for a good rain are dashed. She also makes a plan.

Analysis

Reality has clashed with Frankie’s fantasies at last. People speak to her as if she were a child, and she again begins to feel like a child. She cannot use words, either, to express that she is ready to grow up, and when her disappointment reaches a climax, she resorts to a childish tantrum.




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