REVIEW ¹ The Pumpkin Eater


SUMMARY The Pumpkin Eater

REVIEW ¹ The Pumpkin Eater ¿ [EPUB] ✺ The Pumpkin Eater Author Penelope Mortimer – Dogsalonbristol.co.uk The Pumpkin Eater is a surreal black comedy about the wages of adulthood and the pitfalls of parenthood A nameless woman speaks at first from the precarious perch of a therapist's couch and her smart The Pumpkin Eater is a surreal black Children come and go while our heroine alert to the countless gradations of depression and the innumerable forms of betrayal tries to make sense of it all doctors husbands movie stars bodies grocery lists nursery rhymes messes aging parents memories dreams and breakdowns How to pull it all together Perhaps you start by falling apa. When Mrs Armitage was a child her mother kept a wool drawer in the dining room chest consisting of nothing but leftover knitting scraps On rainy afternoons she was made to tidy the drawer for no other reason then for something to do Busy work Mrs Armitage likened it to the way they make prisoners dig holes and fill them up again Her psychiatrist offered she would like to be something useful like a tea cozy This is the story of a woman losing her way in the uest of finding a sense of purpose Never defined by name but instead titles Wife of Jake Mother of Dinah and at least a half dozen others the narrator looks back on a lifetime of disappointment abandonment and betrayal by those that were loved and trusted All her life she has been surrounded by people parents friends one husband leading to another a battalion of children following suit yet Mrs Armitage still finds herself trapped and inwardly aloneDownward spiraling and yet hiding in plain sight she escapes her domestic imprisonment and seeks answers by digging through her own emotional scrap drawer But what will she unearth Something useful like a sense of self Better euipped to fill life's holes

The Pumpkin EaterChildren come and go while our heroine alert to the countless gradations of depression and the innumerable forms of betrayal tries to make sense of it all doctors husbands movie stars bodies grocery lists nursery rhymes messes aging parents memories dreams and breakdowns How to pull it all together Perhaps you start by falling apa. When Mrs Armitage was a child her mother kept a wool drawer in the dining room chest consisting of nothing but leftover knitting scraps On rainy afternoons she was made to tidy the drawer for no other reason then for something to do Busy work Mrs Armitage likened it to the way they make prisoners dig holes and fill them up again Her psychiatrist offered she would like to be something useful like a tea cozy This is the story of a woman losing her way in the uest of finding a sense of purpose Never defined by name but instead titles Wife of Jake Mother of Dinah and at least a half dozen others the narrator looks back on a lifetime of disappointment abandonment and betrayal by those that were loved and trusted All her life she has been surrounded by people parents friends one husband leading to another a battalion of children following suit yet Mrs Armitage still finds herself trapped and inwardly aloneDownward spiraling and yet hiding in plain sight she escapes her domestic imprisonment and seeks answers by digging through her own emotional scrap drawer But what will she unearth Something useful like a sense of self Better euipped to fill life's holes

READ ✓ DOGSALONBRISTOL.CO.UK Ç Penelope Mortimer

The Pumpkin Eater é Welling brood of children also nameless and the wife of a successful screenwriter Jake Armitage The Armitages live in the city but they are building a great glass tower in the country in which to settle down and live happily ever after But could that dream be nothing than a sentimental delusion At the edges of vision the spectral. If I wanted to I could stand on a street corner and loudly proclaim “I am a Buddhist” Or I could proclaim “I am a Democrat” My merely saying one or both of those things would make it soBut a fella cannot proclaim himself a Feminist A male has to earn that first and even then it’s up to the eye of the female beholder Like the balk call in baseball And while I like to consider myself pro woman I’m not sure I would ever pass the test to be a full fledged Feminist I just don’t take anything seriously enough and sooner or later my attempt at humor would be misconstruedBut it’s not just that I just don’t know the rules the ualifications I suspect they’re slippery and ever shifting maybe intentionally so For example at about the same time Clarence Thomas and Bill Clinton got in trouble Thomas allegedly made a comment – “Who put this pubic hair on my Coke” – in the presence of a female lawyer Clinton penetrated a female intern with a cigar let her perform oral sex on him in the Oval Office all while married and allegedly sexually assaulted another female also in the White House Of course both men lied about it I viewed Thomas’ behavior as boorish and if an attempt at humor not the funniest thing I’ve heard I found Clinton’s behavior abhorrent When I expressed this distinction at the time every woman who heard me tsked loudly and hooted me down as if I was an idiot They thought Thomas should be banished but defended Clinton vehemently The cynic in me felt the distinction being drawn was a political one that if one’s politics are right then one’s actions can be treated differently But what I was told was that I DIDN’T GET IT And that’s probably trueWhat does this have to do with The Pumpkin Eater Well in the obligatory NYRB Classic Introduction to the edition I read was this Before the advent of Betty Friedan and Germaine Greer there was Penelope Mortimer But I don’t get itThe patently autobiographical female protagonist in this novel marries serially and has children A lot of children Although she doesn’t take care of them; a nanny does Her husband’s an asshole That’s itOh there’s some running plot she drinks she sleeps she languishes she has babies She doesn’t work; she has few interests She doesn’t even have a name She’s just Mrs Jack Armitage And her children but for one don’t have names either We don’t even really know how many Too many to count perhaps She lets her father and her husband set the rules make the choices for her She has no gumption; just a constant fogThe story was modeled on the author’s own life complete with many husbands many children drinking a suicide attempt But the author wrote had a career had success chose her own lovers She made a cuckold of one husband and infamously soSo I don’t understand how The Pumpkin Eater is some bellringer for the Feminist movement But I have already confessed I don’t get it Nudging movements and philosophies to the side for a moment I didn’t even like the book on its own merits Just a story about a woman who keeps having babies she doesn’t appear to want and whose life is out of control At least NYRB Classics chose as it usually does a great cover with Susan Bower’s Downhill in a Pram hiding behind the title READ ✓ DOGSALONBRISTOL.CO.UK Ç Penelope Mortimer

Penelope Mortimer Ç 1 REVIEW

Penelope Mortimer Ç 1 REVIEW The Pumpkin Eater is a surreal black comedy about the wages of adulthood and the pitfalls of parenthood A nameless woman The Pumpkin Epubspeaks at first from the precarious perch of a therapist's couch and her smart wry confiding immensely sympathetic voice immediately captures and holds our attention She is the mother of a vast s. 45 stars rounded upI must admit I haven’t read anything by Mortimer before and on the evidence of this book I should have It is about a woman in a downward spiral and is an acerbic and humorous in a very bleak way comment on marriage gender relations and being a woman being controlled by men husbands and assorted professionals mainly medical Mortimer writes in rather a sparse way leaving the reader to do some of the work making one feel much involved in the main character’s disintegration The protagonist is known only by her married name Mrs Armitage She is on her fourth marriage and has numerous children eight I think and would like another one her husband doesn’t Her husband Jake is a successful screenwriter and they have been married for over ten years Jake has a temper and is serially unfaithful They are building a glass tower in the country as a rural retreat The couple are rich enough to employ servants to do everything There may be an element of autobiography here as Mortimer was married three times and had six children Her relationship with her third husband the barrister John Mortimer was notoriously turbulentThe description of disintegration depression a pretty much enforced abortion and sterilisation a complete loss of role and reason to exist are powerfully written All of the male characters are deeply unlikeable and manipulative It was written in 1962 and there has been some debate about whether it can be classed as a feminist novel I think that misses the point; the whole description of depression and breakdown leading to a sort of acceptance is the author asking the uestion Is this it Is this all there is Does it have to be this way There are no answers provided you are just left to feel the raw pain of a woman who society feels has everything but who is utterly lost It’s a powerful book which is still worth looking out for There are a couple of examples of lazy writing about race but apart from that it held my attention and made me ask uestions about my attitudes I also would now like to see the film which came out in 1964 The script is by Pinter and it stars Anne Bancroft and Peter Finch so it ought to be good