Web Wednesday (Nov. 30)
Friday December 02nd 2011, 9:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Madeleine had been trying to beat Alton [in tennis] her entire life without success. This was even more infuriating because she was better than he was, at this point. But whenever she took a set from Alton he started intimidating her, acting mean, disputing calls, and her game fell apart. Madeleine was worried that there was something paradigmatic in this, that she was destined to go through life being cowed by less capable men. As a result, Madeleine’s tennis matches against Alton had assumed such outsize personal significance for her that she got tight whenever she played him, with predictable results. (10)


(I annotated the key words that I analyzed, hope you don’t mind)

This quote epitomizes the root and influences of Madeleine’s mania. The first word I annotated, beat, has a violent meaning to it. yet it is used to describe Madeleine’s ongoing desire to win. Notice how the first sentence, it doesn’t yet specify that tennis is what Madeleine is trying to win. This is showing that even though it is tennis that we’re talking about, that’s not the only thing that Madeleine felt inferior at. The quote goes on to Madeleine placing all the blame on Alton. It says that she was better at him “at this point”. The word this is indicating that she is certain that at that point in her life she was better than him, but not always. Yet it is still fault she always lost. Then she beings to blame all men for her losses, even though they are “less capable”. The author uses word like “destined” and “predictable” to show that Madeleine is blaming everything on the fact that everything is predetermined, and her life is always going to be in the shadow cast by men who are inferior to her, yet unrecognized as such. Thus, she is consumed by this “fact”, and her mania persists.



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