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Juliet- Helen Porter
Transcript of Juliet- Helen Porter
-Juliet suffers from a repressed memory
-Story is narrated from present day when she is retired
-Continuously reflects back to her memories of the past with her family, friends and acquaintances.
-Her named spelt as “Juliette” and the word “rake”- exposed to her throughout the day- triggered bad memories from years ago
-Reflects to her second year of high school when she receives an anonymous letter addressed to “Juliette”
-Letter highlights what a group of girls thought were wrong with her (ex. her face, grandma-like style, hair, etc.)
-Does not tell anyone about this letter, instead she keeps it as a secret between her and the girls who wrote it (still remaining anonymous)
-Never confronted them about it
-Reveals that this was because she was never really bothered by the meanness of the letter; instead, she was bothered because she agreed with what they had said about her.
Juliet faces both types of conflicts:
-The girls (Louise Mercer crowd) that made her the letter
Things that triggered Juliet's repressed memory:
-Juliette and the letter from Laura
-Juliet's repressed memory, lack of self-esteem and poor body image cause havoc for her in many parts of the story.
Point of View
In the story "Juliet", the point of view is in first person where the protagonist tells the story. Throughout the story, the main character Juliet uses the words 'I', 'me', 'we', etc. In first person, the reader is able to see through the main character's eyes and experience the story by what is told exactly.
Juliet By: Helen Fogwill Porter
“It’s not Sandra. It’s me. Am I turning strange now that I’ve retired? When I worked at the library, I had no time to dwell on myself”(Porter, 282)
“I’m fifteen years old, in grade ten…” (Porter 283)
Juliet has memory loss, we can see that she feels and reacts as if she lost her identity. While Sandra’s cutting her hair, she has flashbacks and remembers, again, the word rake. Juliet takes the reader on a journey through her life. She takes the reader on her spiritual journey, it’s all seen throughout her flashbacks, from when she was a child to when she was in school and got the letter, then her parents passed away and she is currently retired.
Juliet faces two kinds of conflicts:
Person vs. Person:
-faces conflict between her and the girls that wrote her the letter in Grade Ten
"As I walk on alone, I try to think of a place where I can run to cry" (Porter, 284).
Person vs. Self:
-has difficulty in accepting herself
-struggles as she has a poor body image, a repressed memory and a lack of self-esteem
"… the meanness didn’t bother me as much as my belief that those girls were right to despise me. I was dirty, sloppy, steerlish, untidy, unhandy. Even lousy… That's the reason I never told anyone"(Porter, 285).
Believing in yourself
-Encourages you to learn from your experiences and allow them to help you in the future
-Juliet was constantly being bullied by girls in her school who were wealthier and prettier than her
-protagonist in the story
-has repressed memory
-developing character, changing during the course of the story
-antagonists in the story
-rude and cruel
"Several girls are standing together over near the showers. They're whispering and giggling. Louise is there, and Dorothy and Thelma. And Betsy Stewart. Betsy is doing most of the talking." (Porter, 284)
Individual in society
-always got angry when someone misspelled her name
-it allowed people to tease and bully her about it
-flashbacks cause her to become depressed and miserable
Juliet, the protagonist, and her hairdresser Sandra are introduced at the beginning of the story. The story begins with a conversation Sandra and Juliet have about the protagonist’s hair. The setting of the entire story switches back and forth between Juliet’s past and present. In terms of the past, Juliet reflects back to her memories with her peers, parents, husband and children.
The protagonist expresses that she is not disturbed by the meanness of the action, but by the fact that feels that the girls had a legitimate reason to hate her. She knew she was “dirty, sloppy, streelish…” (Porter, 285) and agreeing with the comments made in the letter is what derived her to keep it a secret. Ultimately, Juliet accepts what happened and chooses to move on rather than letting it bother her.
Relationship between Males and Females
The roles of males and females within a relationship have been reversed. The males are seen as weak, whereas the females are stronger and more dominant within a family.
Economic and Societal Pressure on Women
That females are accepted socially if they correlate with societal and economic expectation.
The gender roles in this story connect to common expectations we have now a day. Generally, society believes that males are the “providers” within a family.