American Dream

Quotes

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

GRANDMA: Then it turned out it only had eyes for Daddy. MRS. BARKER: For its Daddy! Why, any self-respecting woman would have gouged those eyes right out of its head. GRANDMA: Well, she did. That's exactly what she did.

Here Grandma recounts how Mommy progressively mutilated her "bumble of joy," the child they procured from the Bye-Bye Adoption Service twenty years ago. The epitome of the bad, terrorizing mother, Mommy will disfigure the bumble in the course of disciplining its infantile desires and bodily excesses. It is not for nothing here that an indignant or jealous Mommy blinds the child over its affection for its father. Mommy is partially terrifying because she disrupts the homosocial bonds, son-father, but, more explicitly, the fraternal relation as well, within the American family.

Notably the disfigurement of the child proceeds from a certain disfigurement of language. Mommy makes the figure of speech come true literally ("it only had eyes for Daddy"), turning to the body. The child's eyes are at fault here. Mommy literally exacts a "pound of flesh," so to speak. Her violence strikes both language and the body.