Similarly to what Courtney stated in her post, I personally walked away from Friday’s class with more questions about the novel than answers. After I read her post, I wanted to dive into one of the “unnoticed” parts of the novel myself; the epigraph.
When I was flipping through the novel at the beginning of the semester I had noticed the epigraph but thought nothing of it. Now, as we are two-thirds of the way through the reading I find myself looking for answers to questions I never thought would arise. That is when I remembered the epigraph, “Nobody trusts anybody now, and we’re all very tired” -from John Carpenter’s The Thing.
As I thought about this I realized how many times in the section from Friday we see just how must distrust Ricky truly has for the people around him, and we learn some reasons as to why he could be this way. Personally I think it all started with the Washerwomen and his parents, “It sounds insane, I know, but we refused to accept that they’d pull the triggers. Until they did…I never doubted that our parents could do this to us” (214-215). Ricky realized in this moment that there was truly no one he could trust. The people he had been told to follow his entire life were now criminals who just “committed mass murder” (216), and his parents were the reason he was in this situation, and “then Rose’s gun touched Daphne’s temple…It’s true that Rose squeezed the trigger, but I sacrificed my sister to save myself” (216). If there had been anyone left that he would trust it would have been Daphne, but now even she was gone, and Ricky is truly left with noone.
The mistrust Ricky learned at a young age has affected how he is in the present day of the novel, “Who was I kidding? That lady was gone. How could I have believed that nonsense about calling the Dean? She wasn’t off to deal with Claude. She abandoned me” (220). I read this as Ricky realizing that when he has needed someone in the past they have done the complete opposite of what he needs, and leave, whether that be by death, or imprisonment. Now that Ricky is in the hospital unsure as to what is wrong, his mind has been conditioned to only think one way, that Adele Henry is going to leave him there, “We passed through the waiting room quickly, less than five seconds, and I made one last sweep for the Gray Lady, but she wasn’t to be seen. That’s when I felt the deepest fear. That I was truly alone, penniless, had no one to stand with me” (221). Ricky (and myself honestly) were shocked when Adele Henry announced, “Ricky Rice! I’m back!” (221). All Ricky has known is people leaving him and I had my doubts that Adele would stay and be with him.
There are still so many questions that I have about Ricky, the library, and this crazy adventure Adele and him are on. But maybe now that I have done some unpacking with the epigraph I begin to notice the unnoticeable.