Dominik Laszczkowski 11/12/12 Test Essay In The Effect of Gamma rays on Man- in – the Moon Marigold by Paul Zindel, Beatrice, the single mother of Tillie and Ruth, has multiple internal and external conflicts which present barriers to living a normal life. A single mother whose life has gone awry, she copes with it through self-hatred, cynicism, and drug abuse, and by verbally (and at times physically) abusing her two daughters But she finds other ways to sustain herself.
There are many internal conflicts reflected by personality and inner issues, as well as external conflicts which inhibit her ability to function normally in society, including family dynamics and environmental factors. Beatrice faces many internal conflicts because, first off, she is a crazy women! She is completely nuts. In the story Beatrice asks, “ Do you want me to chloroform that thing right this minute? ” ( 10) This shows her insanity because she wants to kill a rabbit that has not done much harm to her or anyone else.
Eventually her insanity drives her to the max and she ends up killing the per rabbit. Another problem Beatrice has is her life style, its not healthy at all. She sustain herself with alcohol and cigarettes and by creating illusions. Creates an illusion to escape problems by drinking but then having a drinking problem because she is always drinking. Because Beatrice was crazy and had a bad childhood she is know as “ Betty the Loon”. In the story Ruth says, “ Miss Hanley said her nickname used to be Betty the Loon. ” ( 71) Thus everyone remembers her and how much of a weirdo she is.
And Beatrice does not have a lot of nice to clothes to wear because of how poor they are so she never want to go out in public, or anywhere in general. Not only does her internal conflicts cause problems, so does her external ones. Beatrice has many external conflicts that cause her a lot of trouble too. She is very anti-social, stays home a lot because she wants to hide from people. Beatrice does not like being judged in anyway. In the story when yelling at Tillie she says, “ I have no clothes, do you hear me? I’d look just like you up on the stage, ugly little you! (61) This shows how poor they area and that she knows that people are going to laugh at her because of their poverty. Beatrice is also husband- less because he left thus making it extremely hard being a single mother as she needs to do everything herself. Another external conflict is that she gets paid very little weekly and she needs to take care of very old people, people that are almost-died. She struggles a lot to make it through life. Beatrice has bad memories from her childhood which still taunt her now in her life and she does not want people to remember her.
Beatrice has dreams that she wishes to come true and uses them as illusions. She wants to turn the closed shop that part of her home into a tea shop. Beatrice is also looking into buying a real estate so that they can move into a new big home. In the story Beatrice says, “ Four- family house. Six and a half and six and a half over five and five. Eight garages. I could really do something with that. A nursing home… ” ( 22) This shows her illusions by thinking about buying expensive stuff in the future, but she does not have that much money to pay something like that because of her low paying job and poverty.
Her routes of escape is drug abuse. She drinks a lot when there a problem she doesn’t want to deal with and as well as smoke a lot of cigarettes too. As the play’s main character, Beatrice is mainly narcissistic and lethally short-tempered, which is only worsened by the drugs. However, her plight is sympathetic, as her past reveals a life spiraling steadily downward, leading her to self-destruction. Thus being able to create illusions for herself she can sustain herself a little and not have to face the problems for a little.
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