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Psychoanalysis of Mary Karr's Mother in The Lair's Club

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Psychoanalysis of Mary Karr's Mother in The Lair's Club Mary Karr growing up in 1961, Leechfield, Texas, as gone through a lot of hardships, she describes those of her childhood in her memoir's of The Lair's Club. Mary only learns of why her mother, Charlie Marie Karr, has become wavering and potentially hazardous to Mary and nine year old sister, Lecia, towards the end of the novel. All at once Mary talks to her mother, where she revels unknown parts of her past. The story Mary's mother shares with Mary about trying to regain her children; shows how she slowly lost her mind and how her past has affected her relationships with her children. Because she was so preoccupied with trying to regain her first two children, Tex and Belinda, and cannot succeed in doing so; Mary's mother comes to realize that this issue has been eating away at her and has driven her to insanity. Mary Karr's mother in The Lair's Club is shown to be highly unstable figure in Mary's life. Mary discovers as an adult that in her parents attic a box of old wedding rings and pictures of unfamiliar children. Once before she had seen these pictures from her grandmother who had said to her that they were her mother's "Other" children. ...read more.


'All the times I'd wasted, marrying fellows. And still I lost those kids. And you and Lecia couldn't change that. And I'd wound up just as miserable as I started at fifteen.' Killing us had come to seem merciful. In fact, she'd hallucinated we'd been stabbed to death. 'I saw blood all over you and everything else. Splashed across the walls'" (Karr 318). Charlie was experiencing infanticide, she wanted to kill Mary and Lecia to put them out of any suffering that they might experience. In a hypertext version of Velma Dobson and Bruce D. Sales' The Science of Infanticide and Mental Illness they write that, "Over half, fifty six percent, of the filicides were classified as "altruistic" killings, in which the mother killed the child to relieve the child's real or potential suffering; for example, from an incurable disease or from the suffering the child would potentially experience following the mother's suicide. In another twenty four percent of filicide cases, the mother was acutely psychotic at the time of the murder, as indicated by hallucinations." Where Charlie wanted to protect her children and by being so disturbed by the lost of her previous two she envisioned Mary and Lecia dead so they would not have to endure anguish any more. ...read more.


However, Mary question why it had taken so long for all of this to come out when she writes, "As to why she hadn't told us all this before- about the marriages and the lost children- her exact sentence stays lodged in my head, for it's one of the more pathetic sentences a sixty-year-old woman can be caught uttering: 'I thought you wouldn't like me anymore.'" (Karr 318) By Charlie stating that she thought that Mary and Lecia would not like her anymore, proves how sever her depression has become. Even after years and years Charlie is still afraid that she will be left by these children, just as she was by her other. Mary Karr writes a memoir of her childhood in The Lair's Club, although it is mainly about her struggles of growing up in Texas, with her mother; the most important aspect of it is the examples of her mother's depression. Though Mary is unaware of her mother's state of mental heath it is a key point in the decisions that she makes concerning Mary. Charlie Karr tries her hardest to hide her past from her children, for what she thinks is the best for them. It is the unveiling of the skeleton's in her closet to Mary that explains a lot of baffling parts of Mary's life, which eventually brings Mary and her mother closer together. ...read more.

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