*Remember, Annotated Bibliography is due Monday with a minimum of three sources
Texts discussed: Chapter 7 & 8 of Philip Roth’s “Goodbye, Columbus”
(Briana Godina, Miles Wearing, Jesse McCormack, Ramiro Esparza)
In Chapters 7 and 8, Brenda gets a contraceptive diaphragm from a doctor, and we see Neil and the Patimkin family get ready to head off to attend Ron Patimkin’s wedding. Things are strained between Neil and Brenda, and as they travel out of town together for the wedding Neil gets a closer look at some of the rest of the Patimkin family. The family takes a trip down memory lane as they prepare Ron for his grand adventure, and then the group takes off to the venue. The reader is introduced to some of the Patimkin in-laws, who regale Neil and Brenda with tales of their own relationships and personal journeys. We’re briefly introduced to Mrs. Patimkin’s siblings, and then Brenda and Neil sit and have a long conversation with Mr. Patimkin’s half-brother, Leo. We get to see a different side of Leo, as he is open and honest with his thoughts and feelings about relationships and his station in life. Shortly after the wedding, Neil drops Brenda off at the train station to depart for school.
Neil returns to his job at the library, and feels a shift in his perspective, though he doesn’t always seem to understand what it is. He is excited that Brenda is going to be coming home to celebrate the Jewish holidays, but soon receives a phone call from Brenda with the news that she won’t be able to be there. This causes another crack to form in their relationship. It is decided that Neil will come up to visit her at a hotel for a few days instead. Upon arriving at the hotel, Brenda sits Neil down and shows him a pair of letters that she has received from her parents, detailing their feelings about Brenda and Neil’s relationship and the events of the previous summer. It is revealed that Mrs. Patimkin found the contraceptive diaphragm in Brenda’s drawer, and that she feels betrayed by her daughter after having had Neil in her home with them. This leads to an argument between Neil and Brenda that proves to be the end of their relationship.
“When the photographer came by to take pictures, Marty put his hand on his wife’s pancake breasts and said, “Hey, how about a picture of this!”” (Roth 106).
This shows how different perspectives can be in the book. This quote can show that men think it’s okay to push women around to test their loyalty. But in some other perspective it can be seen as some men have no respect for women. This is important because it might encourage Neil to think its okay to push over women, to test a woman’s loyalty later on in the book.
“Some people never turn out the way you hope and pray I am willing to forgive and call Buy Gones, Buy Gones.” (Roth 127).
“Why you should reward us this was is a question I’ll carry with me to the grave.” (Roth 129).
Brenda’s mother and father carry two completely different perspectives on the situation that went down. On one hand, Brenda’s mother was being very passive aggressive about how she’s mistreating them, when on the other hand, the father has a perfectly reasonable response to it, as they were trying to use protection, and were doing what any reasonable person their age is likely to do, but in the safest manner they could. Their different takes on the entire thing were both well just, but also somewhat extreme.
“Knowing how your mother feels about you, wasn’t it silly to leave it home? Risky?”
“What does how she feels about me have to do with it?” (Roth 131).
Neil has his point of view, where he is very suspicious of Brenda leaving the diaphragm at home, whereas Brenda pleads innocence and that it has no deeper meaning than simply forgetfulness. Their two differing opinions end up being the downfall of their relationship, though it was destined to happen before this.
1.Was Brenda and Neil’s relationship all physical and sex or did they have some emotional connection to each other?
2. Did Neil truly believe that Brenda forgot the diaphragm in the dresser or did he believe it was something deeper than that?
3. What’s the difference between the two letters Brenda receives from her parents? How has this changed their perceptions of Brenda and Neil? Or has it?