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Jorie (and Jamie)

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Submitted By Madslund0205
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Jorie (&Jamie): A Deposition
It is always hard for families having a kid with an illness – whether is mental or corporeal. The same is it for the family of Jorie and Jamie. Their father leaves the house and their mother ends up in jail. How and why does it end up with that? Following there will be a focus on how the narrative technique affects the story and further a characterization of the mother.

The narrator of the story is the thirteen-year-old girl, Jamie. Jamie used to live in a house with her mom, dad, twin-sister and little brother. Jamie’s twin-sister, Jorie, suffers from mental illnesses like neurological impairment and epilepsy seizures. Jorie’s illnesses cause a lot of problems in the house and family. The story is Jamie’s deposition of the actions that have occurred in the house.

The story’s chronology changes a lot throughout the text and switches between flashbacks and present talk, which says a lot about the narrator Jamie, and also that it is a deposition. Lines 1-34 are a flashback, but ll. 34-37 is back to present. In the present talking you can sense the authenticity of Jamie saying: “Can I see my mom now? When can I see my mom?” We get a sense of something have happened to the mother and further that Jamie and the mother are very connected to each other. This sense of that something has happened is very central for the story. First of all by an interpretation of the title, which is deposition. Something has happened and need to be explained. We never really get to know what has happened and that is also a sort of the minimalistic narrative technique with this central unanswered question. The answer is handed over to the reader’s own interpretation of the text. There are many possible things that can have happened to Jorie, but I believe that for certain her life is in a critical condition. It says in line 192: “Jorie will tell the truth, when she is well enough.” Something has happened making that Jorie isn’t well enough to talk. What has happened is still an unanswered question, but for certain: the mom is being hold responsible. First certainly indication is in line 201, saying that the mom is in jail. Second indication we find in ll. 175-176: “It’s a lie, what the say about Mom. In the papers. What the neighbours say. If Jorie weighed only fifty-nine pounds, it was because she refused to eat.” The news about what has happened in the house has reached the papers and therefore we know it is critical and dramatic – otherwise the papers wouldn’t write about it. It also has something to do with the weight of Jorie. By analysing causalities the mom has probably been charged for starving Jorie and proclaimed mentally ill (cf. l. 201: she is on suicide watch). Whether the mother really is mentally ill, we do not know. Jamie doesn’t provide us with an answer, so yet again the analysing of the mothers mentally conditions are handed over to the reader. In ll. 83-90 we get to hear about “Mom’s weakness” and how the mom desperately is trying to make Jorie take her medicine to provide her seizures. When it doesn’t work the mom gets frustrated and locks Jorie into the cellar. The mom is trying to act calm and trying to be in control of the situation, but even the narrator can see in her eyes that she is scared (l. 95). Furthermore the father is blaming the mom for Jorie’s conditions, because of her smoking when she was pregnant with the two girls. Three years before the imprisonment of the mother, the father leaves the house. After the left of the father the mother’s condition turned even worse. She talked and cried to herself and even began to take Jorie’s pill to calm her nerves (l. 159). She said thing like: “What have I done to deserve this, (…) what can I do, you can’t leave us.” (ll. 161-162). The mother gives herself the blame of Jorie’s condition and finding herself in a doubt of what to do. Then she begins drinking, smoking and being unable to wake up. We can therefore with our impartiality adjudicate the mom as mentally unstable and understand the charges against her, because of her lack of maternity and adultness intervention. Yet the narrator, Jamie, ignores these indications on her mother’s mentally illness and this may be because of her emotional bond to her mom. She loves her mom and will do anything to protect her (cf. l. 187). This point of view of Jamie’s plus her very emotional bond with the mother also affects the story a lot. We have this restricted narrator where the knowledge about the other characters to a great extent is affected by Jamie’s thoughts. A good example was the ignorance of the mother’s mentally conditions and how Jamie refused to realise her illness. Jamie would do anything to help her mother and even mistreat her own sister, by keeping her locked in the cellar, to help her mother. How the point of view of the thirteen-year-old girl also affects the story is in its words, lack of common-adult-knowledge and syntactic structure. The words and lack of common-adult-knowledge comes hand in hand. An example of that we find on l. 171, where Jamie finds “strong-smelling bottles”. With our knowledge we know that it probably is alcohol, but the thirteen-year-old girl haven’t yet been introduced to such things and therefore only conceptualize the alcohol by “strong-smelling bottles”. Another example of how her lack of knowledge affects the language is when Jamie speaks about Jorie’s “spells”. She does that in ll. 142-144, saying: “Daddy saw Jorie in one of her spells, (…) quaking and gagging and falling to the floor to thrash and “convulse” like she was dying.” Jamie doesn’t know the term for these symptoms, but with our knowledge we can estimate that it probably is an epileptic seizure. How the point of view also affects the syntactic structure, we see in ll. 20-26. This is six lines without a full stop and is very typical when children try to explain thing. Many things often associate a child and therefore their sentences can get very long. Another example on a child being the narrator we find in ll. 121-122. The narrator suddenly changes subject going from talking about Jorie and the mom to talk about when the dad went away. The chronology isn’t in order and we get a sense of this child as narrator.

Summing up the family really experience a harsh time with mentally illnesses. It all started with Jorie’s illness, which at last also brought down the mother, who ends in jail on suicide watch. The narrator Jamie gives her view in a deposition on the actions in the house and especially how her mother is innocent. By the love for her mother Jamie ignores her mother’s symptoms and tries to take the blame for Jorie’s grave condition. Also the narrator’s point of view more text-theoretical affects the chronology, the language and the syntactic structure.…...

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