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Oranges are Not the Only Fruit

Jeanette Winterson

Chapter 6: Joshua

Summary Chapter 6: Joshua

Mrs. White is cleaning Jeanette's house when Jeanette returns home. Jeanette sees that the house has been cleaned, but cannot figure out why. Jeanette had earlier tried to tell her mother about Melanie. Jeanette thinks her mother had not understood, but as Jeanette does not entirely understand either her mother's reaction does not distress her. Still Jeanette's uneasiness reminds her of an "Awful Occasion," which took place when her biological mother visited their house. On that day, Jeanette saw a woman at the door, but her mother would not let Jeanette know who she was. Instead, Jeanette listened through the wall. Later she had yelled at her mother for letting her see her true mother. Jeanette's mother then struck her and insisted that she is Jeanette's true mother, and that the other mother was no more than a "carrying case." After that evening, Jeanette and her mother never speak of the issue again.

Jeanette thinks about how she recently has spent all her time with Melanie, often sneaking to her at night when she was supposed to be at Elsie's. Jeanette told her mother about her overwhelming affection for Melanie because Jeanette has always been very open with her mother. Besides Jeanette thinks that her mother may have suspected as she once checked Melanie and Jeanette's room when Melanie was sleeping over. Her mother never clearly responds to Jeanette's confession.

Jeanette's mother is out when the house is clean, so Jeanette spends the night at Melanie's even though she was supposed to stay with Mrs. White. When they get to church the next morning, Miss Jewsbury eyes them and tells them to stay calm. Soon after, the pastor points toward Melanie and Jeanette and accuses them of falling under Satan's spell. Jeanette defends her love for Melanie arguing that she can love both Melanie and the Lord. Melanie, on the other hand, immediately repents. After Jeanette and the pastor quote scripture to one another, Jeanette runs out of the church. Miss Jewsbury takes Jeanette back her own house. Later that evening Miss Jewsbury physically approaches Jeanette when Jeanette is sleeping and they make love even though it disgusts Jeanette.

The next morning Jeanette finds her mother, the pastor, and other church members at her house. Jeanette denies that she spent the night at Miss Jewsbury's house. From 8.30 a.m. until ten p.m., the church members pray over Jeanette, and beg the demons to renounce her. Jeanette still refuses to yield. After they fail, the pastor tells Jeanette's mother to lock her in the parlor for the next thirty-six hours and deny her any food.

In her confinement, Jeanette becomes delirious and visualizes the demon that occupies her. The demon is orange. The demon explains that everyone has a demon in them and that it is not necessarily a bad thing. Accepting your demon will give you a difficult and different time, but it will be worth it. When the pastors and elders appear after the thirty-six hours, Jeanette repents quickly because she is hungry. The demon reappears and Jeanette tells it that she is only falsely repenting to escape the parlor. The church members are elated and inform her that Melanie has been sent away.

Jeanette finds where Melanie is staying and Miss Jewsbury drives her there. Jeanette falls asleep in Melanie's room and dreams that she is in a stone city called the City of Lost Chances. She ends up in the "Room of the Final Disappointment" which is where people who have made the Fundamental Mistake go. When Jeanette awakes, she is burning up with glandular fever. After Jeanette goes home, her mother suggests that the fever shows the demon being pushed out of her body. Jeanette's mother searches through her belongings and burns her letters. Jeanette decides that her mother is not her queen anymore.