What Happened to Ruth?

            To add to what ekimo said about the ending, I was very confused about the ending as well. Frankly, I was a little annoyed about it. But, I have to admit, the ending kind of drove me much more into the story and quite suddenly too. As soon, as Ruth kicks her parents out of the house, she goes into this hallucinated state and then she drifts out of reality. In a way, she takes the reader with her. I thought that was a nice technique on Nate Powell’s part.

            Yet, the actual plot becomes absent, and I’m left wondering about the purpose of a lot of the back-story. Still, there is one little clue I noticed regarding the build up to the ending. While I was reading the ending I asked myself, when was the last time Ruth had taken her meds? There are a couple moments through the middle section of the story where she is taken her meds and then the pills are just kind of thrown out of the story. Perhaps, the author wants us to look for little clues like that, which are causing Ruth to lose control.

            I also feel like the Grandmother’s hallucinations, her random comments, were kind of playing a part in Ruth’s hallucinations. I also think Perry, Ruth, and the Grandmother were almost feeding off each other’s psychosis. It seems like Perry’s hallucinations come to a screeching halt. He takes a stand and decides to step back into reality. I always felt like his illness is much more minimal than Ruth’s. But, I think the ending suggests that the author wants his readers to reread the story and find more clues in order to discover what happened to Ruth.

One thought on “What Happened to Ruth?”

  1. Yah I agree with ya cpetrus2, the ending is rather strange and the final destination of Ruth is ambiguous (purposeful?). I mean, is she dead? the last page where Perry is feeding the Ruth frog Hybrid suggests she might be as the dead ghost of the Grandmother is in dotted line style as well. But I dunno, it’s confusing.
    When you suggest that maybe we have to go back and find clues, I would also agree with ya there too, as I went back and found one that I didn’t see the first time–> when ruth is getting into the frog’s mouth at the end, there is a pair of dotted lined arms (the grandmas?) holding the mouth open for her. It’s very odd but it would tie into your point about the three “diseased” (Perry Ruth and Memaw) feeding off each other’s conditions. I don’t know exactly what these phantom arms may suggest, but maybe (assuming they are the grandma’s) are helping Ruth into a place the author suggests she must go.
    But yeh, I dunno

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