We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves


Karen Joy Fowler

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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: Part 4, Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

Rosemary searches the Internet for information about what happened to other chimpanzees raised in human families. Most die of diseases such as meningitis or diarrhea, some at a very young age. Those who were returned to live among other chimps did not fare well among their own kind. Rosemary reflects that people who have lived among monkeys tend to write books about their experiences, and there is thus an abundance of literature on the topic.
Rosemary’s comment about the abundance of narratives by people who have lived with chimpanzees resurrects the metafictional element of the novel. After all, Rosemary herself is constructing a narrative based on her experience of living with Fern and its consequences. Indeed, writing this story down seems to be a form of compensation for Rosemary’s lack of verbal discussion on this topic.
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