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Chapter 3

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Dax Urbszat

Chapter3ActYourAgeWhenDoesAdulthoodBeginTheRakeafewscenesfrommychildhoodDavidMametTheRakeAfewscenesfrommychildhoodDavidMametStoryofabrotherandsisterandtheirabusiveparentswhichtellstwostoriestherakeandtheplayTherakeisthestoryofhowthebrotherandsisterweretoldtorakethelawntheybothhatedthefactthattheyhadtotakecareofthehomeThebrotherthrewtherakeatthesistersfaceandcutitopenquitebadlyTheirmotherrefusedtotakethemtothehospitaluntiloneofthemtoldherwhathadhappenedShemadethemeatdinnerwithblooddrippingintothesistersdinnerAfterdinnerandafterthesisterateallofherbloodcoveredfoodshethentookthemtothehospitalWasbasicallyastoryofhowtheyrebelledandrefusedtoshowtheirmotherwhocausedsuchathingandgetthebrotherintroubleDavidandtheygottheirwayThesecondstoryoftheplayiswhenthesistergetstheleadintheplayuponopeningnightshewassoexcitedshewasunabletoeatherdinnerHermotherrepeatedlyaskedhertofinishherdinnerandshestateditwasnotbecauseofthefoodbutbecauseofherexcitementfortheplayAfteraskinghermultipletimeshermotherwenttothephoneandcalledtheschoolandtoldthemherdaughterwasnotgoingtobeintheplayanymoreeventhoughitwasopeningnightThemotherwaseffectivelypunishingthedaughterfornotdoingassheaskedShowedthateventhoughyoucanrebelyourparentslargelyinfluencewhatyoudoandwhereyoucangoStepfatherbeatthedaughterMotherwasbeatenbyherfatherandhewasunabletotellhisdaughterhelovedherwhichcreatedgreatpsychologicalproblemsforherLargelyanexampleofhowindividualsparticularlythebrotherandsisterwereexpectedtoactmoreindependentandofahigheragebutwhenexercisingtheirindependencewerepunishedDavid Mamet Playwright film director screenwriter and essayistThe Rake A Few Scenes from my Childhood Incident of the rake and of the school play that took place around the kitchen table All meals were eaten in the nook separate spot in the kitchen and in between the living room Dining room was never used There was a round glass table in the dining room that his stepfather used to break when he grew angryto show how they had forced him out of control When the children picked up the broken glass they could easily cut themchildren were to understand that it was their own fault The table was associated with the notion of blood The house was in a new housing development built upon what had once been a cornfield and when his family moved in there were only a few houses in the development and mud roads His house was the developments model home and was one of the only homes with a lawn His stepfather loved the lawn and taught him and his sister how to take care of it and take the leaves The 2mile walk to the new high school was surrounded on one side by the newly begun suburb and the other side was the cornfield This school was built on honesty There was no security no lockers with locks There was a response of thievery He played on the school Spartans sports team His sister was interested in the drama society and obtained the lead role in a play She was talented in singing and acting Signaled triumph for her otherwise unremarkable and unenjoyed school career On opening night she did not want to eat dinner with her family because she was anxious and claimed she had no appetite but her mother insisted that she sit and eat as it would be good for her After refusing again to eat the mother called the drama teacher and told her that her daughter would not be coming in to perform tonight By now David was long gone out of the house and heard this story many times even 25 years later The childrens rooms were separated from the master bedroom by a bathroom and a study and this often frightened the daughter when the house was dark at night One night she heard her mother crying and her father arguing with her grandfather insisting that he tell his daughter that he love her but he responded with I cant When the daughter opened the door she asked for an explanation but she was slapped by her grandfather who them slammed the door on her After David had left his sister told him that every Sunday evening their grandfather would hit or beat her because he was angry from visiting his own children and took out his anger on his granddaughter Their grandfather had a history of beating people When his wife was alive he would come home from work and ask what she had done to which she would reply with all the terrible things she had done and would then be beatenHer grandfather beat her another time because he did not have the facts straight he picked her up and threw her against the bookshelf She suffered various headaches and years later through an Xray taken for an unrelated problem revealed that this incident had cracked her vertebrae When both him and his sister left the house their stay ended in a good dinner which was unusual because many of their dinners ended in fights and them being banished from the dinner table or restaurant These excursions ended due to their intolerable arrogance as it was explained to themDuring these times their family joke was to pick up their children from the restaurant and just as they were about to get in the car the parents would drive off 15 feet and then do the same thing again and again David was raking the lawn and his sister was stuffing the leaves into a bag David hated the job and his muscles were tired His sister said something and David turned and threw the rake and hit her in the face and cut her lip The ran in the house and neither of them told their what happenedboth terrified of the terrible punishment David would receive The mother told them that until they answered they would not go to the hospital They ate dinner and she had blood all over her lip napkin and plate After dinner they went to the hospital He concludes by recalling the walks how from the school and how although it may have been cold it was a beautiful sightUnderstanding Ideas1 What do the violent recounts in this memoir have in common Does Mamet write about them in a predictable or logical order What is the effect of saving the rake incident for last By saving this incident it seems as though he is going through the same violent path as his father and grandfather 2 What is so important about the glass table3 What are the ways in which Mamets mother and stepfather exert their control over Mamet and his sister Blaming their children for breaking the table forcing the daughter to eat and when she did not comply she was not allowed to perform in her play forcing the children to tell the truth and when they did not their mother refused to take them to the hospital the daughter was beaten Generating Ideas
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