I really enjoyed reading the end of "Invisible Monsters," it really makes your perceptions on gender and sexuality all twisted. This book makes you question why some people do the things they do, whether it be for their own personal gain, others gain, attention, being secluded, etc. This relates to our class topic, the outsider. How does one become an outsider? Does one chose to be an outsider, or does society make them an outsider? In this book our main character, Shannon, deliberately makes herself an outsider. She was sick of being addicted to beauty, she needed to find a way out. She didn't want to get fat and she didn't want to start drinking a lot to become ugly. She needed an immediate way to become ugly so she shot herself in the face as we all know. Shane on the other hand may have had different means of becoming an outsider.
It seemed like in Shannon and Shane's child hood, Shane was always the secluded one, the outsider, but Shannon seems to disagree. Shannon thinks she was being ignored by her parents, but their parents hated Shane because he was homosexual, and they kicked him out of the house. After this Shane wanted love and affection, he wanted people to pay attention to him, he was sick of being shunned. His surgery was truly to be like Shannon, to be a more beautiful version of Shannon. He becomes Brandy Alexander, but we don't learn she is Shane till the end of the book. Shane claims he wanted to be a woman because it is a new adventure, it is a new discovery waiting to happen. He tried blowing his face off when he was little to do the same thing.
Getting back to the end of the book, I really enjoyed the shock factor that came along with Shannon telling us she shot herself in the face, not Evie and not Manus. I would've never seen that coming. Along with that Brandy tells us that she knew it was Shannon all along, that Evie had told her about the "accident." Why would you shoot yourself in the face though to escape beauty? Why would you have a sex change operation for new discoveries, and attention. The author really makes you question the characters sexuality along with peoples sexuality in real life. Who's to say a man is a man, and who's to say a woman is a woman, they can have opposing traits. Shannon gives Shane her identity and everything that goes along with it at the end of the book, just so he can be happy and she can be invisible and alone like she seems to want. But one last question I have about the book would be do their parents actually think that Shane died of aids? I'll leave it at that.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
I've come to realize that this book has a continuous theme of sexuality and love. But what is love, to some it can mean everything and to others it can be meaningless. People like Shannon, our narrator, want to believe they are in love because there is nothing else. She was convinced she was in love with Manus. While he was trying on his speedos everyday, getting smaller and smaller she was convinced this was the guy she was in love with. He didn't seem to care to much for her but she thought that this is how relationships were supposed to be. It's really sad that some one will settle for somebody they are skeptical about. If you "think" you are in love with some one you are probably not, you have to know that shit.
After Shannon goes through this god awful relationship, she gets double crossed by Manus and her "best friend" Evie. After the cheating and the gun shot incident that changed the whole book, and Shannon's whole perception of life and love, we are left with a lonely narrator. She doesn't know who to love and she doesn't know who to hate. Does she hate Evie, Manus, Brandy, her brother? It seems like Shannon may be confused about her sexuality herself. It seems like everyday Brandy is convincing her to be something or some one she's not. It seems like Shannon is fairly interested in gender alteration surgery (Not sure about terminology). Maybe Shannon is truly in love with Brandy, it seems like she is highly interested in her. I hope in the next couple of chapters Shannon finds the answers she is looking for, who to love and who to hate. I also hope that she will find something meaningful in her life rather than stealing things and doing drugs.
Friday, November 2, 2012
First thing I want to talk about addresses our narrators parents. They seem highly old fashion, and not really modern. Her parents give her four boxes of condoms in her stocking to help her practice safe sex. They go about explaining every sexually transmitted disease in detail in order to make our narrator aware of the consequences of not practicing safe sex. Could you imagine how awkward it would be having this conversation with your parents? I think if my parents were talking about these diseases in full detail I would get up and leave the room right there. Some families really like to make their children aware of these things, and how sex works. When were growing up, getting into junior high school the controversy arises whether or not school should be teaching us about these things or learning it from your own parents. It is really hard to determine whether school should teach it or not because half of the kids in school don’t pay attention anyway, especially in junior high school. So I believe that it should be coming from your parents, but in an appropriate context, rather than explaining in full detail.
In this segment not only do we learn that our narrator’s parents are a little more messed up than before, we also learn that Evie shot our narrator. Why did Evie shoot our narrator? Was it the fact that she was jealous of her? Or was it just because of Steve, the man that both of these women were/are in love with? Our narrator was not even aware that Steve knew Evie. It seems like throughout the book we see instances where Evie and our narrator do not get along. Our narrator always gets mad when Evie stretches out her clothes, and Evie always gets mad when our narrator gets a gig and she doesn’t. Are these big enough motives though for Evie to shoot her? Was it really necessary for Evie to shoot her over a man. We can really see that Evie is really selfish, she puts herself before anyone else and the beginning of the book shows it too. She is in a burnt wedding dress and still wants to be the center of attention. This reminds me of the Carly Simon song we listened to, Evie is so vein, she probably thinks this song is about her.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Jump to the terrible car accident, jump back to the hairspray accident. Jump to the men “self sucking” themselves, jump forward to the meaning of “felching”. Flash. I hate my parents. Flash. My brother’s dead, I hate my brother. Flash. Ha, Ha, Ha. Birds ate my face…
You really take in a lot reading only the first 94 pages of this book; I can only imagine what is going to happen throughout the remaining 200 pages. We learn that the main character, our narrator, is supposedly this beautiful infomercial model, until she gets shot with a rifle while driving and loses half of her face. What I got out of reading the first seven chapters is that she really has been through a lot. She lived a crazy life before this “accident” happened, probably eventually leading us to why this “accident” did happen. It’s clear that somebody wanted her dead, we just don’t know why yet.
What spoke to me the most was the fact that she doesn’t know if her brother is actually dead or not. She wants to believe he died of AIDS when in reality he is probably still alive. Evie, her modeling friend, tries to get her to prove that her brother is dead but she has no solid evidence. Her and her parents hate him so much that they make up his death. What is really coincidental is the fact that a hairspray can explodes in his face. Two siblings get half of their face blown off. Hmm, coincidence? Obviously the author has some intention for both of these things to happen, we just don’t know what yet and how they will connect.
Going through the U.S border, dancing in clubs and bars, felching, etc. This woman has really lived a crazy life. She goes home on Thanksgiving only for her parents to talk about her “dead” brother. She wants to tell them about her life, her boyfriend, but all they can talk about is why they hate her brother, and why every color triangle would represent something sexual. “The pink triangle is the Nazi symbol for homosexual,” her parents say. Obviously our narrator is very emotional, telling us how she wishes her parents cared about her and didn’t ignore her. I hope eventually, she has the courage to tell her parents what she tells us.