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Archives > Week 2: The More He Thought About It, The Angrier He Got

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message 1: by Becki (new)

Becki (beckalina) | 73 comments My opinion of the rest of the family has not changed much after learning more about Gary and his family. In fact, it has only confirmed my thoughts about the rest of the family and the way they interact as a family. I assumed that Chip and Denise had a strong sense of independence, fear of failure, and fear of letting others see them fail. I think Gary is the same way, but he takes it more to the extreme.

I do think Gary is paranoid and so his perspective is a little skewed. However, I do think that his wife feeds into his paranoia as a way to gain control. Caroline does seem very manipulative to me. But she also seems afraid of letting others see her fail the same as Gary. I don’t like either of them. But I guess if I had to choose a side, I would have to side with Gary.

I think all of the main women in this story share many of the same traits. And the same goes for the men. I see Caroline and Enid as being the type that attempt to keep up appearances to the rest of the world. And in doing that, they end up manipulating the people around them. Enid manipulates her children by making them feel inferior to their siblings or other people, and she went behind Alfred’s back to get a better price on the patent. Caroline seems to be manipulating Gary at pretty much every turn and manipulating her children so that she has the upper hand with Gary. I don’t think we’ve seen enough of Denise yet, but I’m sure she does some manipulating of her own. The men try so hard to be the strong, dependable head of the family (or head of the relationship in Chip’s case), but they seem to be weak and unable to control the situations. The women seem to step in and take control when the men fail.

message 2: by Kaitlyn (new)

Kaitlyn Dennis (kaitlyndennis) | 15 comments >i>Of your three children, my life looks by far the most like yours! I have what you taught me to want! And now that I have it, you disapprove of it!

Clearly, there is no winning in the Lambert family. I feel a bit sorry for Gary, because he did what he was expected to do, tried to not fall into traps his father did (though the details Alfred's background is still pretty vague), and still feels like a disappointment. From his handy list of reassuring things Caroline has said to him, it's pretty clear a lot of his self worth comes from reminding himself he's better than his family, and Caroline encourages that.

I'm a bit disturbed by one thing in particular on the list: "Your dad emotionally abuses your mom." For one thing, that's not something most people would think of when they need "strength and sustenance". Also, there hasn't been anything so far indicating he has emotionally abused her. Though considering the way both Gary and Chip seem to have a residual fear of Alfred, it's not entirely impossible.

message 3: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jennyt8675309) | 33 comments Jill, I felt the same way when Gary broke down and confessed to being depressed!

Gary does seem to be very depressed. The way the author describes his depression is very interesting too, the mental checklist for example. Gary is trying so hard to keep himself in check that he isn't seeing reality. He makes excuses for himself and to a certain extent excuses for Caroline. He knows he's being played but if he just keeps his checklist maintained, he'll weather it out.

He is also paranoid but I think the paranoia is justified. Caroline is manipulating him and using their children to help her. It is appalling. While Gary needs help, Caroline's "concern" is not with the goal of getting Gary help, instead it is to make him feel even more inferior.

message 4: by JudgyK (new)

JudgyK I can't stand Gary. He's a total pleaser, and kind of a douche. His wife is equally awful. They both treat each other horribly, and use their kids as weapons against each other in some sort of silly imaginary war. I get why Gary is proud of not being like Denise and Chip, but at the same time, I'd much rather be like either of them than like him.

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