So this is it, our final “blog” posts. I have to admit, this book gets much better towards the end. The final chapter pretty much sums up my thinking throughout this reading; She’s crazy. In reading the official report of Consuelo Camacho Ramos, the proof is finally shown. She is schizophrenic. This document explains every one of her actions. Throughout the book, we’ve seen Connie portrayed as a woman being oppressed and the world seems to be against her. I think this can be interpreted in different ways. We can look at it as if no one understands her, and she really is a time traveler, or you can look at it how i see it. She is nuts. Everything that she has said and done has been to justify her actions. When she is “traveling” she falls into a catatonic state.
Maybe i’m just looking at this with an chauvinistic perspective, where i don’t believe she can be this weak, but everything that she has done can be explained by these simple signs of a schizophrenic:
- Disorganized speech.
- Disorganized or catatonic behavior.
- Negative symptoms (emotional flatness, apathy, lack of speech)
Chapter 17 deals with the war that has been hinted at throughout the book. In this war, Connie sees the weapons that are used by the enemy. When she sees the enemy, she hallucinates that it is Dr. Redding and the rest of the hospital staff. (Piercy 330) Upon waking from her hallucination, she is rushed to hospital to remove the electrodes, but she felt that “they were not done with her.” (Piercy 329)
At the end of chapter 17, Connie declares war on the doctors. (Piercy 332) The war she experienced in “the future” has inspired her to fight her war in the present. Is this future war just a metaphor for her internal struggle with her own sanity? Or is it just more justification as to why she is a victim?
A theme that I have noticed throughout the book was the number 3. Connie refers to herself as 3 women. She is the third patient to receive the surgery. The future has families with 3 parents. In Chapter 18, Connie is given furlough to visit her brother. While cleaning up after dinner, Molly, Luis’s new wife Adele, and Connie are all standing in the kitchen. Connie refers to them as “not three women.” An interesting point is that they were all on some sort of drug. The sane and the insane all together in a place where they can be easily interchanged with each other. Even her description of them sounds as if they are all on something; “We are ups and downs and heavy tranks, meeting in the all-electric kitchen and bouncing off each other’s opaque sides like shiny pills colliding. ” (Piercy 353)
On another note, i noticed an interesting point. In the future people refer to learning as “redded” or redding, the same name as the Dr. who is conducting the experiment on Connie. (Piercy 328) This adds to my idea/theory that her mind is not normal as in some way it is telling her that what is going on in the real world is the norm.
Despite all of the problems and oppression that Connie is going through, the fact that she is willing to kill the doctors makes me completely lose any sympathy for her. I understand that what was happening was inhuman, and borderline torture, but the doctors were within their rights. Knowing now that Connie truly is crazy, i find myself questioning every interaction in which she was the victim. I guess it should be considered a twist, but it seemed pretty obvious from the start.