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Web Wednesday [11/30]: The Marriage Plot I

Tweet: Tweet 3 adjectives that describe Eugenides’s style (I’ll also use this for attendance).

Prewriting: Look at the description of the next assignment: http://eng170w.qwriting.qc.cuny.edu/2011/11/29/upcoming-conference-presentation-assignment/. Leave a comment on that post that asks a question or gives a suggestion about the assignment.

1) Literary Studies Part I:  Find one sentence in the first chapter where Eugenides uses “characterization” to describe Mitchell, who we didn’t talk about last class (so, not just “description” of Mitchell, but the novelistic element “characterization”).

Leave a comment below that quotes the original sentence and explains how Eugenides’s word choice helps to characterize Mitchell (hint: you’re paying attention to the connotation, not just the denotation).  When you finish, reply to your peers’ sentences.

2) Literary Studies Part II: Along with “characterization” and “setting” (both of which we talked about on Monday) “theme” is another element of the novel genre. Simply put, theme is a repeated idea in a novel that is generally not stated explicitly, but rather conveyed through description, metaphor, character, setting, and so on. For our purposes, we can consider a novel having a number of themes, although they generally relate to one major theme that provides the overall “point” of the novel.

One theme I have seen so far is the theme of “mania,” meaning that a character gets overly obsessed on one thing. For example, Leonard’s mental illness leads him to go to a cabin to write a long paper on Fichte, Mitchell’s religious impulse leads him to Mother Teresa, and Madeleine’s romantic literary side results in her rereading Roland Barthes.

Consider what you and your peers wrote in the last step about how Eugenides characterizes Mitchell. Also consider this passage, which characterizes Leonard. (Checking out a book at the library, in front of Madeleine, Leonard tells the “Bettie Page” assistant  his housefly theory):

“Bettie Page tapped Leonard’s hand to get his attention. ‘Flies aren’t always so fast,’ she said. ‘I’ve caught flies in my bare hands before.’
‘Especially in winter,’ Leonard said. ‘That’s probably the kind of fly I’d be. One of those knucklehead winter flies.'” (41).

Now, leave a substantial comment below that answers the question: What does the difference in these two characterizations tell us about the theme of mania in The Marriage Plot?

3) Writing Part:  Select one of the following paragraphs. On your own blog, perform a New Critical close reading that argues how Eugenides’s word choice develops the theme of mania.

Madeleine had been trying to beat Alton [in tennis] her entire life without success. This was even more infuriating because she was better than he was, at this point. But whenever she took a set from Alton he started intimidating her, acting mean, disputing calls, and her game fell apart. Madeleine was worried that there was something paradigmatic in this, that she was destined to go through life being cowed by less capable men. As a result, Madeleine’s tennis matches against Alton had assumed such outsize personal significance for her that she got tight whenever she played him, with predictable results. (10)

The Hannas’ house was a hundred-year-old Tudor. . . . Inside, everything was tasteful and half falling apart. The Oriental carpets had stains. The brick-red kitchen linoleum was thirty years old. When Mitchell used the powder room, he saw that the toilet paper dispenser had been repaired with Scotch tape. So had the peeling wallpaper in the hallway. (74)

At the genuine endpoint of his college career, Mitchell was left with that startling sight: Herr Doktor Professor Richter prancing by, his face lit with a childlike joy it had never displayed in the seminar room for Religion and Alienation. As if Richter had found the cure for alienation. As if he’d beaten the odds of the age. (118)

4) Homework: Finish up your paragraphs. Look again more carefully at the questions and answers on the upcoming assignment post and work on that. Read through the next two chapters (up to page 227).

Posted in Prof Ferguson, Web Wednesday.


64 Responses

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  1. eldisakaeko88 says

    What is a “mov.” file ? Sounds like a power point presentation is automatically going to have that option, slide show or some sort. Also, how many slides should it be?

    • eldisakaeko88 says

      What is a “mov.” file ? Sounds like a power point presentation but they automatically have that option like a slide show of some sort. Also, how many slides should it be?

  2. egallone24 says

    “Mitchell had picked up a jar of deep-heating gel on her desk, asking what it was for. Madeleine had explained that people who were athletic sometimes got sore muscles. She understood that Mitchell might not have experienced this phenomenon…” This sentences introduces Mitchell as a “nerdy” kind of man. It implies that he never was into sports or ever played sports. She goes on to say that all he ever did was sit in a library. That shows what type of character Mitchell is. He picks education and intelligence over fitness and sport activities.

    • Kevin L. Ferguson says

      I just finished typing a quote about Madeleine’s tennis playing. I hadn’t thought of her as particularly “athletic,” but the fact that she has heating gel might change that. You think Eugenides is showing another way these two are incompatible?

    • femi says

      a really good point that I totally overlooked

  3. jtrezza says

    “‘Exactly!’ Mitchel cried. ‘You’re not attracted to me physically. OK, fine. But who says I was ever attracted to you mentally?'” – page 19.

    This sharp comeback, which we can assume Mitchell had been planning in his head for months, shows that he is an individual who doesn’t necessarily think about the world like his peers, and who is lost and confused because of it. He is extremely self aware, it seems, and one can assume he looks down on the people who are not as consious to the world and its truths as he is.
    When he tells Madeline that he “gets it”, he’s putting his foot down and trying to assert the fact that maybe their relationship isn’t as cut and dry as she sees it. You don’t here people say very oftren whether or not they are attacted to somebody “mentally”, which is why Eugenides’ word choice here is important. It characterizes Mitchell as an introspective thinker, one who I can forsee being tragically confused and alone as the book goes on. They say ignorance is bliss; Mitchell has none of that. Just by the way Eugenides makes Mitchell stand up for himself here against Madaeline proves that he isn’t one to accept things, instead he’s the kind of person who will ponder them to death until he finds another side of the story that he can rationalize with and argue for.

    • Kevin L. Ferguson says

      About the comeback”we can assume Mitchell had been planning in his head for months”: I intuitively agree, but wonder why we have that impression. That is, Eugenides must have (elsewhere) characterized Mitchell as the kind of person who works out his comments ahead of time.

  4. mikadroz says

    “He was wearing a vintage gabardine shirt, dark wool pants, and beat-up wingtips. Madeleine had never seen him in shorts or tennis shoes.”

    Mitchell is very much ‘separate’ from the people around him, and he doesn’t rush to denounce the supposedly old fashioned ways of the generation before him. We don’t think of gabardine shirts and wool pants as being modern, and so by portraying him as wearing vintage/non-modern clothing, Eugenides emphasizes how Mitchell’s personality is similar to his fashion sense.

    • Kevin L. Ferguson says

      I had to look “gabardine” up–wikipedia says it’s a “tough” fabric. I also think the detail that it’s “vintage” is telling . . . maybe he and Madeleine do have something in common?

      • mikadroz says

        I had to look it up as well! I got the impression that compared to the other vintage clothes the characters wear it’s far less stylish. For example, Madeleine is clearly trying to be ‘seen’ in her vintage bowling shirt, while Mitchell isn’t trying to impress his peers.

        • Kevin L. Ferguson says

          Good point. They’ve already optioned the movie rights so I’m sure we’ll see Tyler Lautner running around in gabardine and wingtips next year . . .

    • clo120 says

      Clothes in stories such as this really do tell the reader much about a character. The first description of a character’s appearance usually gives an audience a set notion of who the character is, even if the person changes through the course of the novel.

    • Henna says

      Yes, his fashion sense and his religios beliefs and curiosities that develop throughout the novel. His wardrobe is just one thing that sets Mitchell apart from his peers.

  5. clo120 says

    “…she’d received a letter from him, a highly detailed, cogently argued, psychologically astute, quietly hostile four-page letter, in which he called her a ‘cocktease’ and claimed that her behavior that night had been ‘the erotic equivalent of bread and circus, with just the circus.'”

    The word choice describes Mitchell as a methodical thinker, someone who is very specific about what he chooses to say. He also knows how to hurt a person, striking the right spot in order to wound them, which is shown by the fact that after he writes his letter, they do not speak. The quote shows his intelligence, as well as his capability with the written word.

    • Kevin L. Ferguson says

      Aha–this supports what Joe was saying above–his “methodical” mind.

    • eldisakaeko88 says

      Yeah he is a methodical thinker, especially when Maddy said to Mitchell “I don’t really like you like that”, he went off and said ” Your not physically attracted to me, that’s fine but who said I was mentally attracted to you? “.

    • Jessica Danielle Powell says

      Yeah I totally agree. He’s extremely intelligent, and able to clearly get his poitn across with his words no matetr how much they hurt

  6. eldisakaeko88 says

    (Page 15, last paragraph.) “Mitchell was the kind of smart, sane, parent-pleasing boy she should fall in love with and marry. That she would never fall in love with Mitchell and marry him precisely because of this eligibility, was yet another indication, in a morning teeming with them, of just how screwed up she was in matters of the heart.”

    • eldisakaeko88 says

      He describes him as the guy Maddy’s parents would love to have as a son in law but that’s the same reason she doesn’t like him and because she isn’t physically attracted to Mitchell. Mitchell doesn’t seem like he cares about what people think about his physical appearance because of the description that is given when he meets her parents Phyllida and Alton at the cafe.

  7. andycrazn says

    “Madeleine had explained that people who were athletic sometimes got sore muscles. she understood that Michell might not have experienced this phenomenon, seeing as all he did was sit in the library, ……..” The author italicized the word athletic which led me to believe that hes skinny or overweight. The sitting in the library part makes me think hes inactive physically but loves mental exercises.

  8. Henna says

    “Without answering, Mitchell went to stand before the mirror on the back of his bedroom door. Mortarboards were medieval in origin. They were as old as “The Cloud of Unknowing.” That was why they looked so ridiculous. That was why he looked so ridiculous wearing one.”

    As the story progresses we will see Mitchell become increasingly religiously curious and motivated. And appropriatly so, as Mitchell is self reflective and curious about the “whys.” He is not one to accept things at face value (few other graduates question the origin of their mortarboards and whether they helo contemporary value). Like the mortarboards, religion dates back centuries. Though he may question their significance now, like religion, through his travels Mitchell will come to recognize and value the importance of tradition, in the religious sense. In the above sentance, justly Eugenides characterizes Mitchell as self-judging (which will develop into a moral, ethical self-evaluaton) and phylosophically curious and intelligent.

    • Kevin L. Ferguson says

      You’re also making me think of the theme of “ritual” that’s associated with religion–we’ll see more later of the Quakers, who present a different kind of ritual.

    • morgan92 says

      Perhaps as the story progresses we might see Mitchell as curious and motivated but right now I do not see Mitchell as either one at all.

  9. femi says

    “‘Exactly!’ Mitchell cried. ‘You’re not attracted to me physically. O.K., fine. But who says I was ever attracted to you mentally'”?(19) This quote characterizes Mitchell because it shows his “bottom line” attitude. Mitchell isn’t afraid to speak his mind or challenge others despite what society says about his virtues. In the novel it is mentioned that he is majoring in religious studies and despite what he says about it not being lucrative, he is following his true interests where ever they lead him. In regards to the above comment he address to Madeleine, he told her that he wasn’t necessarily a big fan of the type of person she was. some might presume that he was a dog, only trying to get in her panties. He speaks what is true to himself all the time.

    • Kevin L. Ferguson says

      You don’t think maybe he’s just saying that to get under her skin? Put another way: do we always trust what the characters say? Or do Eugenides’s characters sometimes say the wrong things?

  10. xiomara capera says

    ” She’d been on the verge of calling Mitchell to apologize when she’d received a letter from him, a highly-detailed cogently argued, psychologically astute, quietly hostile four-page letter” (15). Although the narrator is describing the letter Mitchell wrote, Eugenides is calling attention to the qualities behind Mitchell’s character like quietly hostile and psychologically astute, implying that Mitchell is emotionally aggressive, is manipulative and that he has some kind of control over Madeleine.

    • Henna says

      These adjectives (“cogently argued,” “psychologically astute,” quitely hostile”) used to describe his writing style are also so aptly descriptive of Mitchell himself. Great chracterization quote. Before even reading through your post, I has jumped at the opportunity to delineate on the quote in my own terms. Turns out we think alike!

  11. Jessica Danielle Powell says

    “…she’d received a letter from him, a highly detailed, cogently argued, psychologically astute, quietly hostile four-page letter, in which he called her a ‘cocktease’ and claimed that her behavior that night had been ‘the erotic equivalent of bread and circus, with just the circus.’”
    [E-Book Page 16]

    This characterizes Mitchell as able to express himself through his words. Also this shows that Mitchell is a deep thinker and thinks thouroughly through the things he does. He isn’t afraid to tell the truth no matter how it may sound to who may hear it. He’s a logical thinker with illogical tendencies.

  12. seslami says

    pg.70: “He’d thought that not wearing a toga would make him seem too cool for such jejune festivities, but as he stood in the corner, drinking a plastic cup of foamy beer, Mitchell felt just as much like a misfit as he always did at parties full of popular people.”

    This sentence pretty much sums up Mitchell’s characterization for the reader. It gives the reader an immediate sense of Mitchell’s childhood/teenage years and how he was never comfortable in school amongst other teens his age. He was never the type to be “that party guy” and always must have felt out of place. The author also shows how Mitchell was not satisfied with that kind of social life and so once he got to college, wanted to “re-invent” himself, but failed to do so. He just ended up back at square one. I’d also like to point out, the word choice of, “…as he stood in the corner…” The author specifically chose to place these words to further prove his point, of how Mitchell is the lonely type, always aloof and by himself; never the life of the party.

    • mchan says

      That’s a really good reading! I think it was important that you mentioned the placement of Mitchell in the room, because it shows how little he’s changed since his younger years when he became more aware of what made him different and his discomfort with other popular types.

    • Jessica Danielle Powell says

      This is really
      good. I loved that you called attention to the diction of a particular phrase. The order in which words appear make such a difference

    • Kevin L. Ferguson says

      Great quote–it also reminds me of a detail that comes up later, where Madeleine claims that she wasn’t wearing a toga either, although Mitchell’s memory is very different.

  13. morgan92 says

    “After Madeline had stromed out of the cafe, Mitchell had remained at the table, paralyzed with regret. They’d made up for all of twenty minutes. He was leaving Providence that night and, in a few months, the country. There was no telling when of if he would ever see her again.” Page 68

    These lines show that Mitchell is a “runner” and does not apply himself to what he really wants. Instead of pursuing Madeline he, instead, is running away to another country and is always searching for something else. Basically, hes always lost and is always looking for something else.

    • Kevin L. Ferguson says

      The New Critic might also see a nice tension/ambiguity between the idea of him being a “runner” and the word Eugenides uses: “paralyzed.”

  14. mchan says

    “She’d been on the verge of calling Mitchell to apologize when she’d received a letter from him, a highly detailed, cogently argued, psychologically astute, quietly hostile four-page letter, in which he called her a “cocktease” and claimed that her behavior that night had been “the erotic equivalent of bread and circus, with just the circus.””

    The description shows readers that Mitchell is actually quite smart and eloquent despite how Madeleine describes him earlier as “kind of smart.” The descriptions of the letter show that what he responded with was detailed, logical, and sound, which proves that Mitchell has been contemplating that night before he responded rather than acting out irrationally. It also shows that Mitchell is not a confrontational type because he chose to write a letter rather than meet with her face to face to talk out his grievances. Writing it in a letter and being “quietly hostile” could also show that he may express his thoughts more succinctly in writing and isn’t explosive in his anger or frustration–he is controlled (which is unlike Leonard’s characters in being affected so deeply by his feelings).

  15. andycrazn says

    That mania will eventually lead to a peak. sooner or later the peak will lead to a decline like the little fly story. the thing that drives us will slowly depreciate. Or the whole mania thing causes people to be very closed minded because their appetite in trying to achieve something causes them to only focus on one thing and not worry about anything else or the consequences.

  16. egallone24 says

    These differences in characterization are very important to the novel. While Mitchell and Leonard have two totally different personalities and roles in the novel, they coincide to the purposes of each of the themes. It makes this novel very realistic. In reality, everyone has their own obsessions and own obligations to attend too. That defines their characterizations. However, even with these differences in obsessions and different roles, overall it get societies moving in the right direction. Alike, in the novel, Mitchell and Leonard are completely different. That is healthy for the story.

  17. mikadroz says

    Mitchell’s mania is driven more by personal curiousity– he is fascinated by religion and is trying to sort out his own beliefs at the same time. He’s hoping to find some sort of fulfillment beyond the short lived one experienced by his classmates when they rejected the society of their parents. His goal is murky and not fully defined, but it’s still there– religious fulfillment, as well as Madeleine’s hand in marriage.

    Leonard’s mania is a bit more unbalanced. It’s driven by his manic depression and leads him to have a breakdown. It’s unclear as to whether he really WANTS to isolate himself in a cabin and write a 100+ page paper, while with Mitchell it’s clear that he’s very interested in what he pursues. The housefly quote mentioned above shows how different Leonard is from Mitchell– Mitchell has a goal, while Leonard is just struggling to get by.

    • Kevin L. Ferguson says

      You make it sound like “curiosity” is something that can be controlled. Do you think Eugenides would agree?

      • mikadroz says

        I don’t think it can always be controlled, but it does seem a bit more channeled and something that the character has more passion for. Leonard seems all over the place at times, while Mitchell has (an admittedly far off and blurry) end point.

        • Kevin L. Ferguson says

          Hmm . . . let’s see if this holds true once Mitchell gets through Paris and India.

        • mikadroz says

          Good point, I’m not up to that yet ;)

  18. jtrezza says

    Must we go all the way and say that when these characters become focused they become “obsessed”, to the point of manic even? These are all Ivy-league kids, can we not assume that this is what intelligent people do when they have something on their mind and cannot wrestle it away? (Borderline afraid of sounding very unintelligent myself, but posting anyway)

  19. xiomara capera says

    Mitchell’s religious obsession leads him to India on a whim. Madeleine’s preoccupation with romantic literature prevents her from being open-minded, even in her romantic relationships. Leonard’s mental illness causes instability within him. I think that Eugenides attempts to emphasize that “mania” is purely psychological, thus very influential.

    • jtrezza says

      Well said. Very much what I was trying to say, but couldn’t.

  20. clo120 says

    The two examples show that mania can affect anyone. It isn’t just a situation that the mentally ill have to contend with. In fact, it is the so called “sane” people that have a harder time handling it and maintaining composure. When focusing on the idea of being a fly, Leonard is so calm and sure of the kind of fly he would be, as if he has thought about this long and hard before coming to his conclusion. Other characters seem to be under stress when faced with their own mania. They feel the need to breakdown, such as Madeleine talking to Mitchell when her parents wish to say hello to him. She is hungover, but the weight of her own focus makes every word that much more weighty and significant.

  21. Jessica Danielle Powell says

    The differences in these two different characterization tells us that the theme of mania runs through the text through the minds and thought processes of Mitchell and Leonard. These two different characterizations also explain that the theme of mania attatches and illustrates itself through relationships with people and also with inatimate objects. These characterizations tell us that the theme of mania in itself is manic because its within the diction of “The Marriage Plot” and the thought processes and actions of its characters Mitchell and Leonard.

  22. morgan92 says

    The theme of mania is very apparent in this novel. Both Mitchell and Leonard are victims of maina and are both equally obsessed. Leonard is obsessed with his past which ultimately led him into a sick psychological situation and Mitchell is obsessed with Madeline. He is always searching for something. This could ultimately be either positive or negative for Mitchell.

  23. mchan says

    In this example, Leonard says that he would see himself as a winter fly, and “knucklehead” usually means someone who isn’t bright or is stupid. Leonard is placing a value judgement on a fly in winter (probably because flies usually do not exist during the winter because it is so cold and for those who are out in the open during the winter are setting themselves up for death in the harsh cold) and then relating himself to that fly. This is a characterization of Leonard and his own self-image and perhaps foreshadowing his depression and how that affects his outlook on life.

    These two very different characterizations show that Mitchell’s mania with religion and self-meaning is different from Leonard’s because Mitchell is looking for meaning which means he has hope for something whereas Leonard and his example with the winter fly only shows his negativity about himself and how he would probably be that one slow (physically and intellectually) fly that finds itself out during the cold winter months. Mitchell is finding some kind of meaning within himself and is trying to improve himself through his travels and search for meaning wheras Leonard’s mania leads him to further look down upon himself and consequently on everything else in his life (he doesn’t see meaning in it).

    • Kevin L. Ferguson says

      Want to take a guess what kind of climate Leonard ends up moving to at the end of the novel? Compare that to the climate in Mitchell’s India trip . . .

  24. APMimz says

    “Alton and Phyllida looked at Mitchell, as if they trusted him to advise them. Under the table, Madeleine kicked him, and he alertly responded, “It does get pretty crowded.” (20)

    This shows the characterization of Mitchell in that others look to him but he is controlled by Madeleine. This connotes that peer pressure is still strong among people and that the ones we love have the most control over us.

  25. Kevin L. Ferguson says

    No one has mentioned yet that the fly is a natural metaphor–that is, he’s not comparing himself to something mechanical, but to a living object in nature (albeit one generally considered a “pest”). Is Eugenides saying that mania is a “natural” thing?

  26. Henna says

    Leonard’s mania, as mentioned, is one of clinical bipolar disorder. He lives atop waves of emotional ‘highs” and “lows” that manifest themselves behaviorally: on his highs, Leonard’s mind runs a mile a minute, he fears nothing and can sneeze out lavish papers in a heartbeat. Conversely, riding the lows are barely as enjoyable (though the exten of fun experienced whilst “high” can be argued). He is sluggish, emotionally and physically, depressed and morose, living, but barely, and only to get through one hell to arrive at the next. In his “lows,” Leonard is like the slow “knucklehead fly.” Catch him by hand, easily. He’s barely trying to escape anyway. Mitchell’s mania is one religiously motivated. His exploration is fueled by a need to discover the truth, or, at the very least, moral truth. Mitchell is seriously obsessed with religious figures and spends the little money he has on religious books and memorabelia. Physiologically, Leonard’s mania is clinical and Mitchell’s not so, rather I’d mark it as moral. Psychiatric diagnoses aside, what the two accomplish during the manic “highs” are markably different, intellectually. Too, Mitchell’s “highs” aren’t followed by “lows” — and that has nothing to do with lithium.

  27. APMimz says

    The difference in mania is that one places himself in a standing (Leonard), and the other is placed in a standing by another person. Leonard objectifies himself and compares himself to a stupid fly, displaying a negative atmosphere and a show that the character does not likely respect himself. Mitchell is objectified in that he is forced into situations when others look up to him for guidance, he is treated with less respect.

  28. P O says

    “But the effect, for Mitchell, was to make him aware of the centrality of religion in human history and, more important, of the fact that religious feelings didn’t arise from going to church or reading the Bible but from the most private interior experiences, either of great joy or of staggering pain.”
    This sentence is very desciptive of Mitchell. His main passion is religion, but this sentence makes Mitchell stand out from most religious people I know. After reading many famous testimonies, he comes away with an understanding of how much religion affected human history. He also recognizes that religious feeling came from private experiences and not the Bible like most religious people, that I know, think.

  29. Kevin L. Ferguson says

    What I should have said earlier, but I didn’t want to influence you too much: I implicitly was arguing that Leonard and Mitchell are opposed or “foil” characters–this novel is a love triangle, so as readers we’re guessing who Madeleine will end up with. I think Eugenides is a good enough writer that he doesn’t make the comparison black-and-white, but we should be paying attention to how their characterizations are different AND similar–all three are “obsessed” with something, but the different degrees of their obsession tells us what the author feels about that general theme.

  30. valinirohit says

    “She’d been on the verge of calling Mitchell to apologize when she’d received a letter from him, a highly detailed, cogently argued, psychologically astute, quietly hostile, four-page letter…” (13). This quote reveals that Mitchell is passive-aggressive. Instead of confronting Madeline at the moment by telling her she led him on he ran away. Days later Madeline got this letter which reveals that Mitchell had been replaying the situation in his head finding ways to blame Madeline for the whole incident and finding ways to hurt and offend her in his letter. Mitchell is smart but sometimes he can use that to be quite cruel and sneaky. He lets his anger linger and he holds grudges. Later on when Madeline and Mitchell meet at the coffee house he still doesn’t let the matter drop even though they apologized to each other. Looking to sting her one more time he says, “You’re not attracted to me physically. Ok, fine. But who says I was ever attracted to you mentally?” (17). Sometimes he can be overly sensitive and overly emotional in a way that he becomes selfish in order to wound someone who has wound him in the past. Although his anger does not explode all at once in the moment it does burst out every now and then catching people off guard.

  31. lindsayc says

    “But, as far as Mitchell was concerned, the gray skies and unseasonably cool temperatures were fine with him.” page 67
    This quote characterizes Mitchell as the person who doesn’t always go with the crowd. Similarly when he chose not to wear the toga at to the party and his whole trip to India. He is someone who doesn’t follow a trend just as everyone else is. Everyone is hoping for nice weather for the day of graduation, but to Mitchell the weather suits him just fine as cool and gray. The weather also somewhat reflects his attitude in this situation with Madeleine, cool and aloof.

  32. lindsayc says

    I think the difference in the characterization and mania between Leonard and Mitchell is like an introvert and an extrovert. Leonard’s mania manifests into him seeking something within his own mind, with these strange theories and ideas . Because his disorder requires him to take the lithium, it makes him feel dumb. So he turns into an introvert. He pushes Madeleine away, and seeps even deeper into his own mind. On the other hand, Mitchell’s mania manifests into his trip to India, his love for Mother Theresa, and his search for religious truth. Rather than hiding away like Leonard, he ran.

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