Your language is like the rest of you, out of the gutter!

Title has nothing to do with what I’m writing about, I just liked that line.

So the book goes on and we learn more about Luciente’s utopian society, and it’s interesting to contrast it to Connie’s time and our own. During Connie’s conversation with the character Parra, we learn that rape is seen in this society as cannibalism (201). Today cannibalism is seen as barbaric, repulsive, something only the vilest of individuals, possibly with a mental disorder, could commit. Even though nowadays rape is obviously a serious crime, it seems so pervasive in our society, with issues such as date-rape and slut-shaming used as excuses to justify it.

While on a walk with Luciente, we get a lot of exposition regarding the way they manage waste in the future. Everything is reused and recycled, evidenced as when Connie asks Luciente if they throw anything away, she just replies “Thrown away where? The world is round” (234). We also learn that in the future everyone works equally, no one profession is more important than another (261). That way there isn’t any one “class” or profession that can consider themselves superior. This is in contrast to Connie’s time, where scientists such as Dr. Redding look down on Connie and the other patients as just guinea pigs for his experiments.

The enemy that have only been briefly mentioned before are now described as being androids, robots, cybernauts and partially automated humans (261). This leads me to believe that while Luciente’s society exists in the future, they are actually in combat with what could be thought of as the descendants our actual present civilization. The reason behind this thought is that there is a part of humanity that decided to change their ways, embrace the Earth and one another and became Luciente’s people, and then there is the part that kept on depending on technology and machines (us), that are on their way to destroying the planet with pollution. Evidence for this can be seen when Luciente tells Connie:

Once they ran this whole world, they had power as no one… and riches drained from everywhere. Now they have the power to exterminate us, and we to exterminate them.

As far as Connie developing as a character, we learn that for some reason catchers from the past are usually females in hospitals or prison (188). After Connie has a dream where she fantasizes about her becoming a mother in the future, Luciente points out that romance, sex, birth and children are all Connie thinks about, however those things are not women’s business anymore in her society, but everybody’s (245). It’s interesting to see that these are the feelings and the things that Connie holds on to the most, that make her feel complete; however, Luciente tells her that in her time “dignity comes from work”.

Finally, we have Connie dealing with the anxiety stemming from her being recaptured and brought back to the hospital and the impending experimental surgery that awaits her. Even though Luciente tries to encourage her with words, Connie points out that Luciente doesn’t understand what it is for others to have control over her life (257). Since she was born, Luciente has been free from any kind of control from someone “superior” to her, since in her society everyone is treated as equals, whereas in Connie’s world people she disliked held power over her, power to run her life or wipe it out.

I don’t know where the story is heading from this point. With the brain surgery performed on her, will she lose her ability as a “catcher”? Dun, dun, DUN…

Evil In Disguise

The book is finally getting interesting. We vaguely learn why it is that the people of the future are contacting people from the past. According to them, their world, the future they live in, is in danger. They don’t explicitly state this, but they imply that there are several realities fighting for existence and they want their world to come true.

“at certain cruxes of history . . . forces are in conflict. Technology is imbalanced. Too few have too much power. Alternate futures are equally or almost equally probable . . . and that affects the . . . shape of time.” (Piercy, 189)


It leaves one wondering why would they contact someone like Connie. A person in a mental institution who has no power, even over herself. When Connie asks about other people from the present that they have contacted they mention That they have mostly consisted of women and women in correction facilities/ mental institutions (Piercy, 188). While Connie was not in a mental institution when she was first contacted it shows that these people need to be in some kind of mental state in order to receive contact from those in the future. It could be that they must be weak minded, or possibly have gone through great turmoils in their life as evident by Connie’s history.

You would think that this leaves their options limited in who they can contact, but they state that they have been trying to contact people who are at the bottom of society.

“The powerful don’t make revolutions” (Piercy 190)

They can’t directly interfere with the past, but they can influence people to take action to fight against those that control them, before they gain too much control.

Once Connie mentions what the doctors had done to Alice they reveal some more information. Apparently the actions of these doctors are the first steps to the world that they wish to avoid. They want to avoid the power that control of the masses will grant to the few. Before hand the doctors work was a miscellaneous background detail, something that was not central to the story. This revelation puts the doctors research as a focal point for the entire story. While Connie is unable to actually change anything directly, what the doctors accomplish with these patients is important to the future.

After Connie’s operation we are more clearly able to see just how evil their work is for the common person. Connie becomes a vegetable unable to do anything for herself and not wanting to do anything. she is kept alive by the actions of those around her and it seems that the doctors don’t care about what they did to her as they proceed forward with plans to perform a similar operation to Alice. Skip was another one of their victims and while he did not become a mindless robot, he lost what made him Skip as noticed by Connie (Piercy, 264). This change is seen as a positive outcome by the doctors even allowing him to go home to visit his parents. What they could not see was that this change destroyed Chip, allowing him to kill himself. The death of a patient who they were trying to improve should be a deterrent to future experiments, but these doctors only see these people as experiments and Chip was a failed experiment. The work of the doctors is not to the benefit of the patients.

(Im aware this is late, but better late than never.)

You are the chosen one Connie.

So we finally see the true purpose of why Luciente and the gang of misfits are pulling connie from the past. Neat idea, actually has me interested to be honest. But thats assuming I can get though tons of exposition. I think that’s what ultimately makes this book hard. Having to analyze a story that gives you everything in your face, emotions, thoughts, settings. It forces us to dig deeper into it, and makes us pull out things that we dislike instead. Connie put it perfectly, “Dolly, takeoff the shades. I can’t see your expression. It’s like talking to a wall” (210).

Anyways I digress. What I”m going to talk about is probably pulling stuff from thin air but Piercy was directly showing the difference between the past and the present. Probably its something she has been showing all along, but let me explain. Between both timelines the sense of control and where it lies was expressed. With the central conflict with what Barbarosa believes is the problem is the technology. “Per” believes its all in the hands of the very few. (189) Something that completely does not bother me. Its a valid argument where we begin to learn why Connie is being pulled from the past. But Connie seems to interject and add that she does like like him because hes a man. This is probably the most direct the author has been with us in stating that Connie outright dislikes men in power.

Ger dislike in men actually gains validity when Dr. Redding and his gang of doctors come into the picture. I’m not sure if its the way Peircy worded it but they are depicted as a stern men where the female nurses are semi-afraid of him. “They looked at Valente blankly” (194). They just stared at her as if she was nothing.

Sadly we go into the future we again learn how the men and all their maliciousness have been proven to be invalid and non existent anymore.

Poor Connie

As I read the troubles that Connie faces I begin to wonder if the hospital described in the book isn’t to different from an actual mental clinic. “She Had Remained sure that somewhere in what they called a hospital was someone who cared, someone with answers, someone who would tell her what was wrong with her and mold her a better life.” (pg. 186) In older post I felt that the class felt that this story was just dragging the life of this poor woman down but the thing is this is a real problem. Me as the reader begins to feel that her so called future visions of Luciente may simply be an escape protocol to cope with the overall concept that her current life is shit.

The character Dolly is a reflection of hope that connects Connie to reality. As the Continue to describe the life of the hospital I realize that Connie continues to grip onto the thought Dolly will help her. “Skip I can’t pay you back yet. My niece didn’t come Sunday. But she’s coming next weekend.”  I felt sad to know that her only hope was her Pimp abused niece who gt her stuck in the first place and on top of that Her own brother feels he has the right to sign away her freedom to the Ward. I can’t help but feel sorry for this woman again on page 198 as she talks to Alice she hopes that Dolly comes for her soon.  To my surprise Dolly does visit 22 pounds lighter and hopped up on speed to the point that she forgets sentences she just said.

The Control that Connies brother Luis has over her life is a depressing/ painful part of the story.. On Page 214 we find out that Luis is the one that signed Connie into the clinic. Dolly explains that He also has taken her things and placed it into storage and also felt he had the right to throw out some of her things. Prior to this we also find out that it is him who signed her up to be sent to a ward in NYNPI where Dolly says that He recommended the doctors. Connie who is frantically trying to explain how the effects of being in the hospital leaves people like the character Alice. Her pleads are ignored as Dolly in a good mood simply tries to see the bright side as Connie suffers.



No coffee in the future? (First World Problems)

When I commented on a post on a different section, I mentioned a comparison to someone’s analysis of urban planing in the future world of the story and the MoMa exhibit we saw a while back. How planning for overpopulation was, at the time, irrelevant to our class but now there’s more of a connection to Sci Fi and the exhibit that I began to notice again in the book. “Imagine the plantation system, people starving while big fincas owned by foreigners grew for wealthy countries as cash crops a liquid without food value, bad for kidneys, hearts, if drunk in excess” (187). This Utopian future has made sure to not make waste of their resources, planned out rations and methods to sustain a stable future an urban planning, just as I had mentioned in a different section of the book. “To plant beans correctly is important . To smoke fish so it doesn’t rot. To store food in vacuum” (188). This is Bee responding to Dawn’s view on what is more important, Dawn thinks that the past is more important. Bee’s response shows us that food and urban planning is more important in the future for it to continue growing.

I’m still under the assumption that Connie is not an actual time traveler, I feel her “traveling” to the future is a way to cope with her harsh reality that she is living through. “I may not continue to exist if I don’t check back…What good can I do? Who could have less power? I’m a prisoner. A patient. I can’t even carry a book of matches or keep my own money. You picked the wrong savior!” (190). This is Connie just putting herself down after Luciente explains to her why she was picked and chosen to travel to the future. Notice how Connie expresses the helplessness she feels from being in the hospital in her current time period, she uses the word prisoner as to express what she really feels like instead of a patient. But in the future she is free from the reality that she was originally in, she even calls it a vacation from the hospital. “Why are you contacting us? You said I’d understand but I forgot to think about it. It’s kind of a vacation from the hospital” (188). I am also used to the more typical ways of time travel, not traveling with the mind like Connie does, which is another reason why I think this is all just in her head. “How easily it had become to slip over to Mattapoisett. She did not return exhausted. As if her mind had developed muscles, she could easily draw Luciente, she could leap in and out of Luciente’s time” (186). Not a convincing form of time travel for me.


Soooooo i was right 🙂 about the whole connie building herself different futures, and to be honest i was taken back, cause i thought i was going to far into a “multiverse theory” but yeah, Piercy does that and its awesome. when she meets Parra (pierc, 199), a version of herself where she seemingly made better life choices and became the woman she told her mother she would become, shows up, further helping my point that this could be true, but then theres the whole being drugged aspect of it, giving it an element of dilusion, I.E. it might not be happening and she could be making the whole thing up. but i dont believe that at all, mainly cause i Really like Connie and i want to give her the benefit of the doubt that she has been exposed to time travel, she can see alternate versions of herself, and shes not crazy. yeah i could nit pick this but why, im here for the story. to go back to the multiverse thing though, heres were it gets tricky. Bee states that they have to fight to exist and thats why they came to connie (Piercy, 190), yet at the same time its “eluded” to the reader that this may all be a delusion. and none of these people might even exist. and then before Luciente says to her “were struggling to exist”, which would illicit that theyre existence in the future is in jeopardy. but why reach out to connie? what does she have to do with it all? heres where i think the theory comes into play, (maybe im wrong but w/e) because Connie is obviously some sort of conduit connecting two different timelines together, and based on the readings of her personas, people that share striking resemblance to other people, and all the craziness in general, its not that hard to get behind the idea that Connie is a catalyst for the future, like how the future would be shaped. She doesnt appear to be playing a huge role, i know, but thats the thing, you dont have to play a huge role to have some effect on the future. as of yet weve seen her been hospitalized, drugged, on the run and survived, all the means of preparation or revolution for something in my eyes that she will be faced with at some point in time, that will have outstanding repercussions on the future, thats my thoughts on that.

One more thing, about being a connection between two futures, it would seem that she can “jump” through them through her dreams, pretty standard time travel MO. it futher implies that this future might be real, but it keeps you second guessing yourself the whole time. I dont know about you, but im gettign more and more into this book.

This is not blind hate/Everyone has their own interpretation

I am going to start off this post by talking about the ending as it finally makes you question the future. After Connie is given the operation that has left both Alice and Skip in a catatonic state, the chapter lacks any talk of the future. Now, to some this would seem like the proof needed to prove Connie’s madness; however, looking at this from outside the context of the book, it seems like Piercy is going for the age old misdirection. Piercy wants the reader to feel that Connie’s madness has been proven only to show us it was real all along. As of right now this is where I see the book going, but on to analysis rather than speculation.

Marge Piercy’s atrocious feminist writing continues to rear it’s ugly head, but let me talk about something positive first. The reader finally gets to see Connie as a strong female character. Throughout chapter twelve the reader is treated to Connie not only hatching an escape plan, but succeeding at it as well. Although this chapter is over saturated with characters like the others, this is one of the only chapters that has a strong focus on Connie. Finally the reader is shown her strength by demonstrating it rather than by being surrounded by evil men. Seeing Connie struggle to get away from the facility by enduring swollen feet, and hunger, all while showing off her intelligence by staying as by being cautious of cars depending on their speed and scouting out the diner she should eat it. All of that is just what the reader is shown at face value and it’s good stuff, but on to digging deeper and seeing the rule point of this chapter.

I realize that the time in which the book was written was a harder time for women, I really do. People, however, have to take into account that we live in a different society than people who were around in the 80’s; some books just age horribly, and Woman On The Edge Of Time is no exception. Women in our time are not treated as they were in the 70’s, so a book of this caliber is only destructive to our society. It simply enforces a perpetual blind hate that feminists have towards men. Men are not out to get women. Yes, misogyny still exists, but it is not valued in our society; furthermore, just as their are men that believe women have their place, there are women that believe the same of men. I know that was not digging into the text of the book but it had to be explained before I can get to the examples of the annoying feminist writing.

Shall we start on the chapter that Connie showed us her strength? So, how does Connie end up back at the ward after escaping? A man. Not only was it not good enough for Piercy to have Connie sent back to her ‘demise’ by a man, but a man looking at porn, AND not only was that man looking at porn, but it seems he was looking at BDSM PORN: “On the cover two naked women embraced while a man about eight feet tall dressed all in black leather cracked a whip around them (250).” Let’s dive into this and analyze what Piercy is oh so subtly trying to tell the reader: 1. Women are just sexual objects to men. 2. Women should be submissive men. 3. Men should control women through violent means. 4. Men will always tower over women; women have no power. Additionally, at the beginning of chapter 12 Connie talks about how people only pay attention to the way one dresses (232). The reason Connie chooses to take a dress, rather than something practical, when she escapes is because the only way she can be considered normal and blend in is by playing the role given to her by man.

The first character to go through the new round of treatment that the doctors were using was Alice. After the surgery Alice basically becomes a puppet of the male doctors; they can control her anger and make her obedient (196-197). Skip also goes through the same treatment, but his procedure was not shown, nor did it leave him catatonic as it did Alice. This is another way Piercy shows how men force women into obedience and their need to be able to control women. The male need to control women is also shown when Connie talks about how her sister Inez was given a placebo rather than birth control by a doctor (269). The doctor giving Inez a placebo is meant to symbolize how men believe women are suppose to fall into the stereotypical role of mother/housewife.

I could go on with more examples, but I won’t. I know my posts only focus on the feminist writing, but nothing is fully developed. For example, at one point Connie talks to Luciente about how the judicial system works in the future (201-202), but it only lasts a total of two pages; furthermore, when it is brought up it is completely out of nowhere, and it is never mentioned again, so the conversation was pointless. It is a absolute shame because the themes brought up are interesting and could have served as an interesting social commentary, but alas Piercy’s writing is incapable of taking these ideas any where. “What about rape and murder and beating somebody up? We’re trained in self-defense. We’re trained to respect eachother (201).” Really Piercy? Rape doesn’t exist because people were taught self-defense and respect? What a childish view. If this book is suppose to have an impact on society, why is the reader constantly shown a word that could never be seen as a reality? It is because of moments such as that one that I feel the book has no other value other than being a feminist book.


Mind Control: I see a little bit of Clockwork Orange in this

One thing really stood out to me while reading this section of the book. especially what occurs in the first chapter. I saw a lot of similarities between the doctors in A Clockwork Orange and the doctors in the mental hospital here. We see the doctors performing this new procedure on the patients in the hospital (specifically Alice) that involves implanting needles into someone’s brain and using radio waves to control their emotions. The patients, who are supposed to be the “insane” people, are the only ones that offer sane criticism to this procedure. The doctors are crazily performing this procedure in front of recording cameras, unaware of the emotional distress this is causing to Alice, who knows exactly what’s going on.

What’s even more creepy is how the doctors rationalize this procedure. Instead of actively trying to help the patient get better and rehabilitate themselves, they believe the way to “cure” a mental patient is to actively control their mind and mold them into their own image of a “normal” person. It’s somewhat ironic that the doctors try to play with the emotions of the patient, when they themselves lack emotion for the crying Alice who says “Motherfucker, you let me up! I ain’t no guinea pig.” (Piercy 195) All of a sudden, with a switch of a radio, the doctors have completely changed Alice’s emotions, and can change it back and forth. “You see, we can electrically trigger almost every mood and emotion-the fight or flight reaction, euphoria, calm, pleasure, pain, terror!” (Piercy 196)

The reason this scene stood out to me so much was cause it reminded me so much of A Clockwork Orange. If you know the book or the movie, the main character Alex is living in a somewhat futuristic world where there is a major crime issue, and Alex is part of the youth that possesses this criminal behavior. When Alex gets arrested, he is sent to a facility that attempts to permanently change his emotional responses through a form of mind control. If you’ve seen the movie, I kind of think of that scene with the needles in the eyes when I read the scene with Alice in the mental hospital.

Hmmm, interesting.

First off, let me start off by saying that for some reason my book is different then all of yours. It’s weird because it’s the same model and everything but with a different font and the pages are all off. For example, for me Chapter 11 starts on page 216, not sure if its the same for you guys but yeah hang in there with me. Anyways,

These chapters have definitely grabbed my attention a lot more then the other chapters. It’s just more intriguing and captivating. We’ve got different wards, we’ve got Connie trying to escape, Skip changing and just a lot going on. “We’re struggling to exist.” (Piercy 197, for me) a quote by Luciente that really stood out to me. What exactly is he/she trying to say? Is the future world that they’re in really not real? It made me think a lot. Then they had the whole demonstration thing with Alice which she was not happy about. In fact she mentions “Motherfucker, you let me up! I ain’t no guinea pig!” (Piercy 203, for me). But chapter 11, and beyond is what really got me into the story. Dolly, ohhh Dolly. How are you just going to give Connie a lousy 10 bucks? I mean she gave the lady at the desk 30, but for her to have, just 10? Atleast she gave her some clothes though but come on. Connie is all messed up in this, she probably needs more then that. I’m sure she has plenty of money with from new white pimp. She doesn’t really help, and she ends up asking Luciente for help and she/she says that the past can’t be interfered. Which I don’t really understand because I can never really tell whether the whole thing is real or not. Are those people even real? Is what Connie seeing even happening? Like what does Luciente mean she says she can’t interfere with the past. If Connie can go in the future then… I don’t know. Then the whole fight with Connie and Sybil seemed pretty cool. I like when I read some action after reading a bunch of depressed stuff. Now Connie finally grew some balls and decides to escape, I like that!

The rest of the chapters really engage me into it. Especially in Chapter 12, how Connie summons Luciente. Which I find so weird. That really shows the science fiction part of this book. She can just summon a person as if it were a yugioh card. Then she used another yugioh card (joking) to summon Dawn who reminds her of her daughter. I wish I could just bring people up whenever I miss them. Another interesting thing that I spotted was when Luciente mentions “They know I’m not real.” (Piercy 247, for me). I find that interesting because how can someone that isn’t necessarily real know that it isn’t real. How can the other people know that he/she even is real or not? Pretty weird. The ending was a nice twist when Connie ends up getting caught without identification and ends up back on her ward. What a shame, after all the pain she went through. I started to see a bright light for her.

“I want to get back into my life.” Said Connie (Piercy 262, for me). Connie is really trying to change. They told her that the only way she can change is if she stays because they are only trying to help her. “We went you to function again, but without risk of committing those out-of-control acts.” (Piercy 262, for me). Connie is desperate after seeing the way Skip changed for the better. Then we really start seeing the whole theme of Technology vs Man again. The doctors really relied on science. They tested on Skip as if he were a lab animal and it apparently failed. We see that Skip had been doing so good that they let him go home to his parents to see how he did in the real world. I read a quote that made me think about what the doctors thought about right away, “Sunday morning early, Skip had slit his throat with an electric knife in the kitchen of his parents home” nothing but pure sadness from failure. Similar to what Jonathon had said, that Skip was nothing more to the doctors then a baffle.

These chapters were really interesting to me because it really showed how the future might actually be real after all. If that’s the case then how can she be summing people from the future. It’s confusing though but I look forward to reading the rest to figure this all out.





That ‘Ole Tech vs. Humanity Is Back

After reading the four chapters, I get that ‘technology versus humanity’ feeling and its connection with control. Something that is considered a huge theme in science fiction. It’s also gradually becoming more to the truth that technology is taking over, which can correspond to Alice’s “treatment” in Chapter Ten. This even gave me a comparison to something we’ve previously read, “Do Android’s Dream Of Electric Sheep?”, where most people own a mood organ that effectively changes what a person wants to feel. In that reality, however, the owner of the mood organ was in control. In this story, these so called “doctors” are in control. As Dr. Argent says, “We can control the violent” (Piercy 197). What seriously irks me is the irony of that quote. In its entirety, it is actually the opposite. Those in charge are the violent ones while the patients are the actual victims. It’s as if they possess no human rights at all. Is it the fact that they are women? Does this point to Piercy’s determination of feminism? Of course.


I also have come to realize something about one of the characters in particular; Dolly. I’ve had my suspicions about her from the beginning but now, in the conversation between her and Connie, it is confirmed that Dolly is an asshole. I do not understand why Connie continues to ask for her help. In her place, I would completely notice that Dolly will not help. $5, $10? I’m in a prison for Christ’s sake, in what thrift shop do you think I’m going to spend it? Why don’t you do something practical like getting me the hell out of here? She is always high, always on drugs, in what world do you think she is going to do anything? Connie keeps thinking she is going to do something to help her because she’s “blood”. What’s funny is that Luciente is from another time, far into the future, and she/he is practically family. She/he has done more for Connie than Dolly will ever do.


Connecting back to technology and humanity, we hear something that Luciente says in the scene where she/he is with Dawn and Connie next to the highway during Connie’s timeline. As cars are driving by, Luciente says, “All those people in metal boxes, alone and cut off” (240)! Key words in that quote: “alone” and “cut off”. This can pertain to where humanity is headed presently, in our current time. We are getting cut off from our own lives, and in doing so, what makes an individual an individual is getting lost through time, piece by piece.


When Connie is sent forward into Luciente’s time frame, we learn something new about the legislative and judicial branches of her/his society (if any). Apparently, having a disagreement between one another, such as in the case of Luciente and Bolivar, it is almost a sort of crime, and what happens is that the two opposing individuals have to pretty much make nice: Parra says, “Luciente and Bolivar, sit down face to face inside the ring. Look at each other… You must set aside time to speak” (206). So it may be entirely possible that ironically, this utopia is a dystopia because of its noticeable downsides.