Sunday, November 17, 2013

Who Is Emo Talmidge?

The young protagonist in the story of Magnolias Don’t Cry is not your average teenage boy growing up  in the 1960's in a normal environment.  Emo Talmidge was born disadvantaged With a mother who was very willing to give  her body to any man wanting it and who gave cursory attention to this child, a child with limited mental ability, and an alcoholic father who, from the beginning, never wanted the child.  Emo’s life does not take a regular path toward maturity. In fact Emo Talmidge is never allowed to have any path toward a wholesome and promising future.  And throughout the story, the circumstances surrounding this young, neglected boy reveal the sociological missteps that confront all people in the struggle to obtain a degree of normalcy, be whatever that may be.  Emo, in many ways, represents all of us and thereby all people can relate to this teenager because we see bits and pieces of ourselves in the life of Emo Talmidge. And while the conditions and involvements may not necessarily be similar, nevertheless we can relate to Emo Talmidge’s treatment in society resulting in his misfortunes.  Magnolias Don’t Cry reminds us that life’s surface is not always the perfect layer we envision, but a fragile covering that helps camouflages the harsh and penetrating realities we prefer not to confront.  Unfortunately Emo Talmidge had no choice but to cope with these realities and yet, worst of all, he lived in a complete void, knowing not what they were, and thus rendering him completely defenseless. Who is Emo Talmadge?  He is, in all respects, life’s shadow.