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Frankie in The Member of the Wedding

This study will analyze the misbehavior of adolescent girls as exemplified by the character of Frankie Addams in Carson McCullers' The Member of the Wedding and by the character of Beverly Ann Donofrio in her autobiographical Riding in Cars With Boys. The study will consider what makes an adolescent girl a "bad girl" or a "good girl," what leads them to misbehave, how each of the two girls sees herself, how each girl's culture judges her, and how this reader sees each of them.

There are similarities and differences between the two girls in terms of why they are "bad" in the eyes of those around them. They come from very different socioeconomic backgrounds, Beverly from a poor neighborhood, Frankie from a wealthier family with a cook and other conveniences. They live in different era---Frankie in the 1940s of World War II, Beverly in the 1960s, but both eras were ones of great turbulence. Children as well as adults were troubled and doubtful about the future. Beverly is an average, outgoing girl who doesn't really think much about her behavior or worry where it will lead her, until years later when she is a mother of a college-bound son. Frankie is a very bright girl with an active imagination who is thinking all the time about herself and her place in the world and what she wants to do. Beverly has a lot of friends and her life circles around her "bad" behavior with them. Frankie's best friend has moved away and now her only "friends" are her six-year-old cousin and a black cook. At the same time, they are similar in that they are both adolescent girls going through great physical, social, emotional, psychological and sexual changes which upset them. Without any guidance, they are trying to create identities separate from those around them, and they are doing things that make sense to them but are considered "bad" by their cultures.

Beverly writes her book on her adolescent misbehavior from the perspective of a grown woman whos...

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Frankie in The Member of the Wedding. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:46, September 23, 2020, from