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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Relation to a Character

         Of all the characters in the stories, despite the supernatural and eerie themes, I feel like I can most likely relate to Constance from Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived In the Castle. I feel like I can relate to Constance in shallow and obvious ways, as well as within a deeper emotional level. 
On an overall surface, Constance was the eldest sister in the Blackwood family. In this way, we share the title of the eldest child in a large family, as I am the oldest of three children. Constance is the primary caretaker of the home, when her family was still alive, up until it was just Uncle Julian, herself, and Merricat. Not only does she take on the role of the matriarch of the family, Jackson writes her as if she truly enjoys doing so. She loves her kitchen, so much that after the scene with the fire, there was much attention directed towards “Constance’s kitchen.” I can relate to this in that whether I’m at home with my family, or at school with my friends, I am the one who cooks and takes care of everyone. I see this neither as a nuisance or a task, for I greatly enjoy doing so. 
On a deeper level, I believe that Constance and I are truly similar. At the end of the novel, we find that not only has Constance known about Merricat’s actions all along, but has protected her secret. While none of my siblings have ever committed such heinous crimes against our family, or anyone for that matter, I know that I would happily defend and protect them if such situations were to happen. Additionally, it was easy for Cousin Charles to come in and manipulate her into believing and thinking what he wanted her to. As much as I am reluctant to admit, I am very easily gullible and can easily be talked into thinking if a person is truly passionate about the topic on hand. Although Constance was portrayed as a victim in the story, I viewed her as a strong and mysterious blank slate that made it easy for people to assume what they wanted to about her. I viewed this as a tactic, like she was “playing dumb” responding with very broad answers and brushing off conversation that did not please her. I feel like more than often, I am guilty of “over protecting” myself so I refrain from putting myself out and available for others to judge. 
After reading We Have Always Lived In the Castle, I felt like I could relate to Constance both on a broad and surface plane and even further emotional level. 

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