The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

By Mark Twain

The Marriage Plot part 1

December 1st, 2011 · No Comments
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A) The Hannas’ house was a hundred-year-old Tudor. . . . Inside, everything was tasteful and half falling apart. The Oriental carpets had stains. The brick-red kitchen linoleum was thirty years old. When Mitchell used the powder room, he saw that the toilet paper dispenser had been repaired with Scotch tape. So had the peeling wallpaper in the hallway. (74)

In the Marriage plot the theme of controlled or uncontrolled chaos is displayed throughout the novel. Closely looking at the first paragraph we see that Eugenides has a particular way of foreshadowing or conveying his theme of mania. The Hannas’ till this point have been described as a successfully family that dressed nice, had money and where very punctual. Eugenides changes our whole perception on who they were and their lifestyle in this one paragraph. He made sure to mention that the home they lived in was a tudor home that was built a hundred years ago, pressing on the idea that that the home just like the Hanna’s had a good foundation and it was well constructed. On the inside “everything was tasteful and half falling apart” thus pressing on his theme of chaos. Like the inside of their home the Hannas’ were not as well put together as they seemed. Madeline for instance just recently woke up with a hangover in her bed that she did not remember returning to clothed in her roommates dress borrowed from the night before that now had a suspicious white stain on it,(chaotic). He also tells us that the “brick kitchen linoleum was thirty years old” brick is usually tough and strong, thinking of the kitchen as the family , he lays out to us that the brick or the family may not be as strong as it seemed, even though it is still brick it wasn’t the brick that it was thirty years ago. Scotch tape kept the wallpaper and toilet paper dispenser together, earlier in the book Phyllida express to Madeline that she was changing he old wallpaper at the that time in the book the condition of the wallpaper was in was withheld, so i assumed it would be in pretty good shape being that the Hannas’ were “well off”. Now looking at it maybe they wanted to change it because it was indeed like the hallways wallpaper, falling apart. Madeline pleaded with her mother not to change it even tho she was four years removed from the home as a regular occupant and had no plans of returning to her childhood bedroom after graduation. This shows Eugenides chaotic theme clearer than anything else, even though the wallpaper was falling apart (which we can associate with chaos) Madeline pleaded to keep it just the way it was(a problem) , opposing the changing of the wallpaper , even when the wallpaper did not directly effect her life anymore, which is chaotic in itself.

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