unhappytriad: (shinydog)
[personal profile] unhappytriad
... aloud, for Learning Ally.

(spoilers behind the cut, if by some strange chance you've never read the book)

Two things I've never realized before, though I read the book many times as a child and several times as an adult and even as a parent:

1. In the overheard conversation between Harriet's father and the psychiatrist, Harriet's father repeatedly brushes aside all comments about Harriet's intelligence, talent, imagination, etc. in favor of reassuring himself that she's... normal. In other words, the most important thing about his child is whether or not she's going to be an embarrassment. This is particularly poignant given that the author was a lesbian writing in the 1960s.

2. In a letter, Ole Golly tells Harriet that in order to avoid losing friends, she has to do two things she'll hate: (1) apologize and (2) lie. She then explains that lying in order to spare other people's feelings is not bad. And then she lies to Harriet to spare her feelings.

As we say in the fanfic community: AAAARRGH, THE FEEEEELS!
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