Cloud 9

Quotes

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

God knows I do everything I can to make you stand on your own two feet. Just be yourself. You don't seem to realize how insulting it is to me that you can't get yourself together.

This statement, made by Martin to Victoria in Act II, Scene two, represents a more modern form of oppression. Martin's control of Victoria is less severe than Clive's influence in Africa. In fact, Martin's control manifests itself as a willingness to give up control. Martin says that he favors Victoria's independence. However, when she cannot "get herself together," Martin is "insulted" because he has been rendered powerless by his inability to help her.

Martin represents the uncertainties of the second act. As the act's only straight male, he wonders where he fits in and what his status should be relative to Victoria. He does not recognize that even the command "Just be yourself" is still a command and an exertion of his will upon Victoria. Victoria can only find her true identity through her own action. Martin struggles to find a way to be meaningful to his wife without controlling her. Much of Martin's speech, including this quote comes in the form of long lecture-like monologues that depict him as self-absorbed—caught up in the confusion of finding his own identity, but still demanding that Victoria find hers.