The Member of the Wedding Essay

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In the following essay, White interprets

The Member of the Wedding within the contexts of gender and initiation into adolescence.

Carson McCullers's The Member of the Wedding (1946) takes place in a small southern town where the protagonist, Frankie Addams, lives with her father. During the hot August of the novel Frankie spends her time in the Addamses' kitchen with the black cook, Berenice, and her six-year-old cousin, John Henry. She becomes enchanted with her brother's approaching wedding, decides to join the wedding and the honeymoon, and is disillusioned when her plan fails.

Although Frankie is only "twelve and fivesixths years old," there is much about her which will immediately seem familiar. She makes her appearance dressed as a boy, though she also douses herself with Sweet Serenade perfume; she hesitates on the threshold of the kitchen, being "an unjoined person who hung around in doorways." In the...

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This section contains 8,711 words
(approx. 22 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Member of the Wedding Study Guide
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