There is a moment in every persons life that defines what they will be and how they will do in the future. Although most people are unable to pinpoint the exact day and time of this moment, it is usually in early adolescence and involves that persons peers and developing morals. It is usually caused by the metamorphosis from a completely dependent person to a social being where there is an increased pressure to fit in.
The fictitious narrator in Alice Adams “Truth or Consequences” itself an excerpt from her book To See You Again was unique in that she could pinpoint this defining moment. Her experience with Carstairs Jones was a mixed blessing that she was not able to overcome and, in light of how her life turned out, was a foreshadowing of things to come. Throughout the monologue, the narrator drops hints about how her “normal” past turned out. The many lovers shed had three marriages and as many abortions.
Each time she was seeking out to gain an upper hand in life and social status. Once, she writes, “I was raped by someone to whom I was married. ” These are not part of what most people would constitute as a “normal” life. The sublimation of her own values and morals to become part of the in rowd at her elementary school started with the malicious game of Truth or Consequences where she was the victim of a trick question designed to humilate her. Car Jones happened to be the rock adjacent to the hard place she was wedged between.
Her ill fate led to the use of Car to prop her into social acceptance and the toll that Car imposed on her for her use of him caused confusion that stayed with her throughout her life. In her own mind, the narrator decides that all of these events can be traced back to the incident with Car and, as indicated by the final line in the story, cause her to be raumatized and allow these things to happen. ” The could be as haunted as I am by everything that ever happened in his life.
The traumatization threw the narrator into the arms of the most popular kid in class and that in turn led to her descent up the ladder of popularity. She reasons that to Car, the event was of little consequence and was quickly forgotten. Just the last bad thing he could do before his sudden advancement to high school. He just floated above all of the inconsequential things that he did and followed what he wished with nary a look back. His poisoning of her ormative year prevented her from doing the same.
She also allows that he could be just the opposite, but not much faith is put into that, for if it were true, surely something would have come of it. The ability to cope is part of human nature and the narrator felt as though that part of her had been ripped asunder and left dead. She could no longer cope the same way that everyone else could. Something inside had died, allowing all of the unfortunate events of her life to happen. So she thinks, anyway. While it is probable that this kiss meant nothing to Carstairs Jones, it did have an impact on how Ms. Emily Ames turned out.