Trying to unravel
Attempt to unravel this little puzzle
“There was a fireplace in the living room. I used to sit in front of it, with Richard, the light flickering on us, and on our glasses, each with its coaster to protect the veneer. Six in the evening, martini time. Richard liked to sum up the day: that’s what he called it. He’d had a habit of putting his hand on the back of my neck – resting it there, just keeping it there lightly while he conducted the summing up. Summing up was what judges did before a case went to the jury. Is that how he saw himself? Perhaps. But his inner thoughts, his motives, were frequently obscure to me.
This was one source of tension between us: my failure to understand him, to anticipate his wishes, which he set down to my wilful and even aggressive lack of attention. In reality it was also bafflement, and later, fear. As we went on, he became less and less like a man for me, with a skin and working parts, and more and more like a gigantic tangle of string, which I was doomed as if by enchantment to try everyday to unravel. I never did succeed.”
This is a passage from Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin.
If you’ve read the book you already know the answer to this but just in case you haven’t, can you guess at the relationship between the man called Richard and the person writing in first person?
Awaiting your responses. In my next blog post I’ll elaborate on what I think about this. So let’s hear it from you, let’s see how observant you are.
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