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The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls
April 2019 > The Butler Parents

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message 1: by SGS (new) - added it

SGS | 49 comments Mod
Even in death, the presence of the Butler parents can be felt throughout the story. How do parental relationships affect each of the sisters and Joe?

message 2: by Robbin (last edited Sep 16, 2019 07:52AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Robbin (curlqueenreads) | 11 comments I feel like the loss of their mother was mostly felt by Althea and Joe because they were actually old enough to get to know her and have memories they could retain. Viola met their mother but she was so young at the time of her passing she didn't have many memories. Her memories were all based mostly on what Althea would tell her about their childhood. Lilian was just a baby at the time so she can't really remember her mom. But the difference between her and her siblings was that she actually got to have a relationship with her father. She was still at an age to be raised once he finally got himself together. I feel like the reason why Joe and Althea treated Lilian so bad because a part of them couldn't get past the fact that he wasn't a good father to them and he was barely there but yet Lilian actually got to experience him as a father.

I feel like Joe is almost a wolf in sheep's clothing. He barely acknowledges the past, especially how he abused Lilian and when confronted with the facts he acts irate at the fact that everyone hasn't gotten over it. Althea had similar feelings as Joe about their lack of father but she at least didn't lash out violently. However, she did turn a blind eye to her sister which is crazy because she was one of the first ones to step up for her children when Althea and Proctor went to jail.

I also feel like their entire family experienced different forms of depression and self-harm. I feel like they wouldn't outright say it but there were eating disorders, mood swings. A lot of them had past trauma they never dealt with and it was affecting their lives as adults as well as their children's lives. Once they all began to confront their past and who they felt they were as people whether good or bad their lives started to change. All of them began to move in a positive direction with the exception of Joe. He is more of an outcast to the family now. I feel like things maybe could've been different if he could've owned what he did to Lillian and actually apologized sincerely when she finally confronted him but he just couldn't. Their parents in one way or another trickled down into each one of them.

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