Monday, February 12, 2007

Sisters: The Strongest Relationship?

Suzy and Grace? Sisters? According to the Oxford English Dictionary Suzy and Grace are both "a female in relationship to another person or persons having the same parents". It is interesting to think that Suzy and Grace are sisters. I believe that these two characters are similar in many ways that they do not know about. They both want something to hold on to outside of the world of their parents. However, their escape goat could be to look after one another and claim that they are best friends, but there are two many outsiders that want to damage their relationship.

As Suzy and Grace grew up in their parent's home, they both seem like strangers under one roof. What I don't understand is why don't they try to help one another due to their parent's strict ways? I only have one sibling in my family and that is with my sister. My sister and I are about two years apart, and I can not imagine one day where I can not talk to her. We both grew up together in a loving manner, she is the one I who to when we have family problems at home, and like Suzy and Grace, we are the same person.

The same person? That is a stretch to imagine of Suzy and Grace. Suzy is the quiet, patient, obedient sister while Grace wants to spread her wings to get out of her parent's life. What they don't understand is that their life would be so much easier if theyhad one another to count on.

One reason they can not count on one another is the fact that other people, outside of their home, put pressure on their self control. The men that Suzy has affairs with are who she goes to in need. Due to this fact, Suzy begins to rely, believe, and love some of these men that do not know who she is. For Grace, her ESL class and the gang that she is involved with is who she looks up to. They both do not need to look up to these outsiders. They do not know who both of these girls are, only Suzy and Grace know each other. What about family? Why doesn't Grace and Suzy try to become closer?

Once again, the Oxford English Dictionary states that sisters "have the same parents." Maybe the idea of "parents" to does not mean anything to Suzy and Grace. They both have the same blood from two people who raised them. Even though their parents are hard to deal with, strict, and sometimes mean, it does not mean that they both should disown their family all together as they grow older especially in the bond of sisterhood.

"Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship"
Margaret Meed 1901-1978

1 comment:

lauren_oliver said...

It is true that Grace and Suzy do not share the bond that a lot of people would expect siblings to have. This however, can be explained by their upbringing. On page 169 just after the incident at the dinner table when Grace threw up the food Suzy recants a very important memory; “With each year, Grace became more and more withdrawn from the rest of the family. There was a certain anger Suzy sensed, but nothing palpable enough to put a finger on. The only thing she knew was that if Grace had had a choice she would not have wanted to be her sister, or, more clearly, her parent’s daughter, and it was this realization that always came between the sisters. The coldness, or the unassailable distance between them, was in face a clear desire for separation.”

Although Suzy and Grace are sisters who grew up in the same house they have experienced two different childhoods. Grace has spent her childhood standing up for herself in what few ways that she could while Suzy has and continues to allow other to take the lead in her life. We must remember that the stories Suzy has shared with us about her upbringing are only a select few stories that she has chosen to share. What about all of the stories that Suzy has chosen not to share? What else went on in that house that we are not aware of?

It is made very clear in the novel that Grace is the one who is willing to take risks, and break the mold. It must have been very difficult for her to watch her sister and her mother sit back and do nothing as their father emotionally abused them. Grace and Suzy no doubt love each other, but sometimes when it comes to family you love them because they are your family, but for your own preservation you can’t associate with them, as I believe is the case with Grace and Suzy.