We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves


Karen Joy Fowler

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Rosemary’s mother is also a scientist, although Rosemary does not describe her scientific work and it seems as though she may have stopped working in a formal capacity after having children. (Like Rosemary’s father, her first name is not given.) After Fern leaves the family, Rosemary’s mother has a nervous breakdown and loses the capacity to talk, eat, or even get out of bed. She eventually recovers, but then is further devastated by Lowell’s departure. Eventually, Rosemary and her mother move together to South Dakota to live near Fern. Although Fern is at first hostile to Rosemary’s mother, they eventually rekindle their relationship, and Rosemary’s mother volunteers every day at the laboratory where Fern lives.

Rosemary’s Mother Quotes in We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

The We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves quotes below are all either spoken by Rosemary’s Mother or refer to Rosemary’s Mother. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
Part 1, Chapter 3 Quotes

The idea that we would spend the holiday talking about anything as potentially explosive as my arrest was a fiction, and we all knew this even as I was being made to promise to do so. My parents persisted in pretending we were a close-knit family, a family who enjoyed a good heart-to-heart, a family who turned to each other in times of trial. In light of my two missing siblings, this was an astonishing triumph of wishful thinking; I could almost admire it. At the same time, I am very clear in my own mind. We were never that family.

Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:

There are moments when history and memory seem like a mist, as if what really happened matters less than what should have happened. The mist lifts and suddenly there we are, my good parents and their good children, their grateful children who phone for no reason but to talk, say their good-nights with a kiss, and look forward to home on the holidays. I see how, in a family like mine, love doesn't have to be earned and it can't be lost. Just for a moment, I see us that way; I see us all.

Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 4 Quotes

Bed-hopping was an established custom in the house—Fern and I had rarely ended the night in the bed where we'd started. Our parents felt that it was natural and mammalian not to want to sleep alone, and though they would have preferred we stay in our own beds, because we kicked and thrashed, they'd never insisted on it.

Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 5, Chapter 5 Quotes

Poor Mom and Dad. All three of their children incarcerated at once; that really was bad luck.

Related Symbols: Cages and Cells
Page Number: 245
Explanation and Analysis:
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Rosemary’s Mother Character Timeline in We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

The timeline below shows where the character Rosemary’s Mother appears in We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Family, Tradition, and the Past Theme Icon
Absence, Silence, and Denial Theme Icon
...was very talkative as a child. She describes a series of home movies featuring herself, her mother , and her sister (Fern). Rosemary is not sure what she is saying in the... (full context)