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Monday, February 8, 2010

Toomer's "Fern" - A Girl Who Wants Something Different

“We walked down the Pike with people on all the porches gaping at us. “Doesn’t it make you mad?” She meant the row of petty gossiping people. She meant the world.”

This line stood out to me because unfortunately, because of my background, exposure, and upbringing, I typically assume that beautiful girls love knowing they are the “talk of the town”. From what I have seen, females typically love to receive attention from males. However, Fern seems repulsed by it. She denied everything with her eyes, she rejects every man, and only seems to dwell on the rest of the world since that’s all that seems to go into her eyes. The main character said that “Fern’s eyes desired nothing nothing that you could give her; there was no reason why she should withhold”. The question then becomes what could make her happy? What does she actually desire? She rejects the gossiping people, she rejects the men who offer their bodies or money, she even rejects the world according to the line I started with. The main character also said Fern’s eyes focused on nothing. I can understand the main character’s frustration and confusion because I don’t know what the heck to think either. However, there is a possibility that she is looking for something different that is more real. What I mean is a person who wants to get to know Fern. The reader describes her looks and what her eyes say. But we never see what is actually going on inside of her. We want to know more about her but no one ever really asks and everyone has been denied. The main character even seems to find some success when he asks if she would like to walk and talk. She is willing to accept. Then he kinda jumped her like most other men do and she clearly doesn’t like that feeling since she practically starts convulsing and freaking out. I imagine that someone with such beauty has had to face some rather frightening and forceful men before. She has to develop some sort of guard against such people and her reaction to the main characters touch seems to hint that she had faced some uncomfortable times with touch in the past. For whatever reason I can only come to a similar conclusion as the story teller (not the author--Toomer) that I wonder what would make her happy.

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