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The eighteen-year-old " Merricat " lives with her remaining family members, Constance and Julian Blackwood, on an estate in Vermont. As a result of a tragedy six years prior the family remains isolated from the surrounding village. The Dictionary of Literary Characters deates a "definition" to Merricat as follows:. Reclusive, psychotic year-old who lives in the Married women looking for men in Blackwood manse with her older sister, Constance Blackwood, and her uncle, Julian Blackwood, aspoisoned most of her Married women looking for men in Blackwood in Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Live in the Castle.
She practices sympathetic magic in order to keep her family out of harm's way. Extremely superstitious, she exudes mysterious behavior and further shows s of psychopathy as her role in We Have Always Lived in the Castle expands. And in turn, her "protagonists grew increasingly disturbed until Jackson created Merricat Blackwood, a psychotic killer. Alongside her remaining family members she lives a secluded life, ostracized by the surrounding village.
The musical ran from September 23 to October 9. My Name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had.
I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the deathcup mushroom Everyone else in my family is dead. Marisa Silver sees Merricat's opening monologue as "brazen, creepy, obviously unreliable and utterly disarming. Without looking, I could see the grinning and the gesturing: I wished they were all dead and I was walking on their bodies. This hatred for the villagers is apparent in Merricat's attitude throughout the novel, as the family's "ostracism by the community" has taken a toll on the Blackwood family.
In order to deal with her exile, Merricat has a of eccentricities, namely her obsessive behaviors. Merricat has strange habits of "burying coins, nailing books to trees, and even choosing specific magical words that she will not say. As a result of social rejection, Joyce Jackson writes that Merricat, along with her family, have become representative of Jackson's agoraphobia. Merricat's deranged and agoraphobic behaviors can be seen in her handling of Cousin Charles.
Charles appearance brings out a longing for change in sister Constance but Merricat, so frightened by the "change and disorder" this would bring chooses to set the house on fire.
Silver notes that rather than accept a new order in her Merricat's life, she, quite literally, chooses to let the world burn down around her. Merricat's questionable decision-making lends an argument for the unreliable narrator. Angela Slatter quotes The Usual Suspects to describe Merricat: "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.
Merricat does her destructive best to derail it. Barbara Hodge Hall, of the Anniston Star, had this to say of Married women looking for men in Blackwood upon We Have Always Lived in the Castle's initial release in "Merricat is 18, but a strange 18, still child-like in habits but a thousand years old in intuition. Carpenter's article, "The Establishment and Preservation of Female Power in Shirley Jackson's 'We Have Always Lived in the Castle,'" claims that Merricat has drawn a blow against "masculine authority" as power has shifted from "the Blackwood men to the Blackwood women.
Merricat speaks with a seductive and disturbing authority, never drawn to justifying her actions but recounting them. The Dictionary of Literary Characters deates a "definition" to Merricat as follows: Reclusive, psychotic year-old who lives in the family manse with her older sister, Constance Blackwood, and her uncle, Julian Blackwood, aspoisoned most of her family in Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Live in the Castle.
Dictionary of Literary Characters. ISBN OCLC Shirley Jackson's troubled women: Agoraphobia and the fiction of fear.
Ann Arbor: Oklahoma State University. Retrieved November 5, Internet Broadway Database.
Retrieved November 4, The New York Times. Retrieved October 5, August 18, The Southern Review. EBSCO host Retrieved November 7, Retrieved October 31, Literary Ladies Guide to the Writing Life. August 31, Retrieved November 9, Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies. JSTOR The Jamaica Gleaner — via ProQuest.
The New York Review of Books. Lay summary — Celestial Timepiece September 18, Library of America Interview. Interviewed by Rich Kelley.
Literary Classics of the United States. Retrieved May 28, Shirley Jackson.
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