Merrycat Essay, Research Paper
Jackson’s last novel, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, combines many of her most vital concerns-psychology, isolation, and evil-with a curiosity in black magic. Merricat, Jackson s main character, is a young girl with many psychopathic tendencies including obsessive behavior and murder. Merrycat s murder of more than half of her family is explained by her severely neurotic behavior. Her psychotic behavior can be seen though her obsessive habits, her almost childish mind, and murder of her family members.
Merricat is extremely superstitious person that causes haunting compulsive actions. She thinks the number three is evil, buries things in her back yard to blockade the world, and trusts no one except her sister Constance. She believes she can feel omens, All the omens spoke of change. I woke up Saturday morning and thought I heard them calling me (Jackson 58). This superstition causes her to behave in mysterious ways. She burns down their house in order to rid herself of Charles whom she believed was evil
Merricat murders her family at the na ve age of twelve and does not mentally age since that night. As an eighteen-year-old young lady she seems immature,
estranged, and even foolish. From the beginning of the novel the simplicity in her tone seems childish, I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise (Jackson 1). Maturity is the ability to control anger and settle differences without violence or destruction. This is not something Merricat handles well. After she is angered by Charles unwillingness to leave their home, I hammered with a shoe at the mirror over the dresser until it cracked across (Jackson116). Merricat does not have the ability to live in peace with what cannot be changed, or the courage to change what needs to be changed.
At the end of the novel, Merricat is a bland and apathetic character. Although Merrycat had been victim to a less than caring environment, killing is not a normal response. Merricat is constantly thinking the villagers should be dead, I would have liked to walk into the grocery one morning and see them all lying there crying with pain and dying (Jackson 12). Merricat wishes death upon anybody who creates turmoil in her mundane life. This demented and deranged attitude is not healthy and is what causes her to kill her family. The night she puts arsenic in the sugar bowl she makes a decision which effects not only her but her poor sister Constance who goes through thick and thin to protect Merricat.
Jackson challenges the traditional idea of normality by being almost sympathetic towards Merricat s behavior. It is obvious how closed in Merricat s life is. At first, she is closed in mentally and then she closes herself off physically leaving the sane world behind. Although Merricat s behavior is prompted by psychological disturbance the outcome of this behavior is not justified by any means.