Tony and Susan Tony and Susan question

The Insides of Tony & Susan
Lindsay Critelli Lindsay Jan 30, 2017 12:56PM
1. The title of the book: why Tony & Susan? I venture the idea that it is intentionally meant for those two characters to meet face-to-face - either as a comparison to each other, and/or for the 'villain' (a cheating wife) to see the world and all its horror of being victimized and weak through the eyes of the 'hero' (a loving father/husband). Susan dives in deep relating to Tony from the beginning because she associates him with Edward. I think it was Edward's specific intention for that to be the case, with all of the years after their divorce allowing her guard to be down and her view of Edward to become more compassionate. Once she does "become" Tony, she feels his pain. She feels the unjustness to having lost everything you love and blaming yourself because you COULD have done something to stop it.
2. Edward's novel lacking something: Edward said himself that he felt his book was "lacking something". He left the question for Susan to answer, what is this story missing? Did she ever answer that? Was she supposed to? The fact that he did not meet with her after her reading suggests to me that he already knows what is missing and that he intends to leave it that way. I would assume that what is "missing" are answers. Why did Tony have to die? Why didn't Tony fight? Why did Ray do those terrible things? Why was Bobby more determined for revenge than Tony seemingly was? Did Tony gain courage during the fight for justice or had he never been capable of being courageous (firing the gun) in the first place? -- I think that those questions can directly symbolize the questions that were left unanswered after Edward and Susan's divorce. Why didn't Edward fight? Why wasn't Edward aware of Susan's loneliness? Would Susan have cheated no matter how attentive Edward was?
3. Susan in the red miniskirt: I think that there is more to this character than the details confess, but I just can't figure it out. Her name being the author's ex-wife's name is symbolism I just cannot ignore. Susan caught the attention of Ray - so does that signify that Ray is actually Arnold? (In Edward's eyes, the demon killer to all things family?)
4. Edward Accepting Susan's Critique: Throughout her flashbacks, Susan tells of all of the times that she offended Edward by criticizing his writing. I wonder - was this perhaps the bigger offense to him than her cheating? It seems as though the story of Tony is one of a man who is powerless and taking for granted those around him, while then being judged by his family, his faculty, his enemies, and then by Bobby Andes for those very things. Essentially, Nocturnal Animals calls into question "can we blame Tony?" -- for her critique? for her criticism? So maybe WAS Tony an poor writer or was he simply needing the right support to get to the level that everyone would love and understand - like he did finally find himself avenging his family's murders and dying for the effort to right a wrong.



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