Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In Watermelon Sugar

In Margaret, from In Watermelon Sugar, I thought it was interesting that the only thing to identify Margaret to the nameless narrator is the creaking of the board as she steps on it. Margaret is the only one that steps on it and it got me thinking about how one's gestures are deeply intertwined with one's identity. One can be recognized by their gestures just as much as anything else about a person, to the point that gestures become one's identity as with Margaret. At this point all we know about Margaret is that she steps on creaking boards. However, just this act causes the narrator to hide and not answer the door, speaking volumes to what a simple gesture can mean to people.

This is a deep contrast to the My Name section in In Watermelon Sugar, where the identity of the narrator remains elusive throughout the piece. I can't be too sure what he meant, but I think he is talking about how a name doesn't identify one's self and that a name is just a name and holds no value out of itself. I believe the narrator is suggesting that identity itself is more about the experiences that make up a person. This is supported by the fact that he compares his name to experiences of a variety of emotions and even daily life experiences like walking around in a field of flowers or describing the fire in a stove.


  1. Interesting that you felt the identity of the narrator in My Name is more about the experiences one goes through that define us as individuals. All the emotions, thoughts and actions develop our identity as a whole. Definitely agree with you as to the meaning behind this piece.

  2. Interesting - your analysis is very different from my interpretation. I took it to meant that the narrator is an anthropomorphism of the vagueness of identity itself. But I think your analysis is the correct one - that a person is more than the name they're born with. And that person is annoyed with Margaret.


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