Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Three, Three, Three

Through out the second half of "The Complete Tales of Merry Gold" I noticed Bernherimer used a sequence of three items. It first appears on page 62 "Out of my window, I watch their mother prepare the dirt for some plantings. She appears to have bought some flats of daisies, marigolds, pansies." This is obviously a play on words of marigolds= Merry; pansies= Ketzia; and daisies= Lucy. Another instance is on page 80 when Merry is talking about her two friends from Design School, Semyon and Tibor. "Tibor made some infants' caps by decapitating stuffed animals and gutting them: monkeys, lions, and dogs." The next instance is on page 87, "The second and third day the child came and went again." Next on page 91, "When I was a very young child, I would wake my dolls up, three-in-a-row in their pink dollhouse bedroom." Bernherimer continues this sequence of three on the next page "I would line up three outfits in three different sizes, on three little chairs in their room; I myself sewed these outfits." Page 93, "I had a big pile of clothes I had made for class and would wear everything: woolen pants, knitted sweaters, furry caps." These are just a few examples of the usage of the sequence of three.

What's so special about the number three? I looked up the number three on wikipedia (So I know it may not be the most "accurate" source of information, but it's nicely organized) and it said that there are three Greek and Roman gods, one each ruling, Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld. It is often believed that people die in threes (this only impacts the people you interact with on a day-to-day basis). So what does this have to do with the book? WELL, that is a good question. I think that the definitions I listed above can be related to the text because in a way, Merry Gold, is the ruler of the underworld- she is constantly talking up a good game and is a bully. Ketzia is the ruler of the earth, always doing as others tell her, especially Merry Gold. Lucy is the ruler of the Heaven because Merry Gold and Lucy get along better than Merry Gold and Ketzia, she agrees to play the games with Merry Gold.

As far as the definition of people dieing in threes and how this relates to the text... hmmm... um, I'm not sure about how this relates to the text, I guess I just thought it was an interesting random fact.


KC Sabol said...

I just want it noted, that I actually posted this on eastern time of 3:33. Ergo, going along with my pattern of 3!!!!!!!!

christina said...

I noticed the 3 repetition too, so I'm glad someone else picked up on it.

Not sure what you want to do with this, but in the Christian/Hebrew Bible, 3 is supposed to represent perfection. The idea of the 3 in one (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), 3 days to resurrection, ecetera, gets repeated a lot in the text. As a number of perfection, 3 is also said to be a holy number, and is used to represent God/Jesus Christ a lot. Something about the idea of three being this perfect triad really inspired the Hebrews, or something. That dollhouse sequence you referenced could read like a kind of Creation story, or something--she wakes up, manipulates these dolls, sews them outfits--I don't know, it reminded me of something like that. But that sets up Merry Gold as God, and I don't know how I feel about that.