Why are we sometimes unable to speak to others? In our societies, why are we sometimes unable to communicate – or, communicate truthfully or effectively? We are thrown into cities, let's say, teeming with unimportant people, blank faces, uncaring, hurrying, where sounds of movement and presence drown out sounds of communication – speech, dialogue, laughter. Perhaps we ride an elevator, one in a group who stares at ascending numbers, or likewise on the bus, we stare forward, conscious of the tension of silence.
[...] In an interesting scene, the two characters, Tony and Kathy, seem to be talking around John Wade, despite the fact that he should be the center of attention. Wade really has little to nothing to say. Kathy goes on to claim, just wish you'd let [John] say things' (O'Brien, 163). Consider the following exchange between the three characters: ‘Which things are these? Which things would the candidate care to say?' [Tony asked] ‘Issues,' [Wade] said. big deal.' ‘Explain,' Tony said. [...]
[...] Bridge, in that both respective couples (or perhaps, simply, the respective main characters) are conscious of some deficiency in their relationships and their lives, but do nothing about it. Each character seems to be in the midst of a situation where they are placed alongside a person (Wade's wife Kathy) or persons (Bridge's husband and children) who seem to be less people, but objects. O'Brien's John Wade, like Mrs. Bridge, cannot or will not communicate the disappointing points of his relationship, nor can he voice his general, broad sadness. [...]
[...] As a child she was often at the point of inquiring, but time passed, and she never (Connell 1). She is rarely referred to by name. Instances like this of Mrs. Bridge's inaction are a common thread in the text. She can be defined, in fact, by the things in life she has not done, or the things in life she has not voiced both literally and figuratively. At the beginning of the novel, we learn that her marriage, for example, is not as fulfilling as she would have hoped. [...]
[...] For instance, Connell's Bridge is becoming invisible to herself in the following passage: She continued spreading the cream over her features, steadily observing herself in the mirror, and wondered who she was, and how she happened to be at the dressing table, and who the man was who sat on the edge of the bed taking off his shoes. She considered her fingers, which dipped into the jar of their own accord. Rapidly, soundlessly, she was disappearing into white, sweetly scented anonymity . [...]
[...] Again, in the following passage Fuckhead fails in an attempt (like most of his attempts) at human interaction with his wife after she has suffered through an abortion: [T]he nurse came out and said to me, ‘Michelle is comfortable now.' she dead?' course not.' kind of wish she was.'*** I went in through the curtain to see Michelle. She smelled bad. are you feeling?' feel fine.' ‘What did they stick up you?' ‘What?' she said. ‘What?' (Johnson 93-94) Can this even be considered an attempt at a consolatory action? [...]
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