We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Part 4, Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

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

Summary
Analysis
Rosemary would have liked to sleep through her second confinement to a jail cell, but the pills keep her awake. She thinks of Fern, who was also drugged and put into a cage when she was taken from the Cookes’ house. Rosemary notices that she has been unconsciously signing in the language she used to communicate with Fern. Her mind wanders erratically, but keeps returning to the subject of chimps. Harlow tells her to shut up and that she’s been talking all night. Rosemary tries to be quiet and sleep, but cannot stop the pace of her own thinking. She realizes that she’s lost her bicycle, and possibly also Madame Defarge.
Rosemary’s transition back from being a quiet person to a highly talkative one is comically dramatic. Not only does she talk all night, she is simultaneously speaking (at least) two different languages—spoken English and the sign language she used to communicate with Fern. It is as if her years of enforced silence have led to a buildup of thoughts and feelings that are now exploding in the jail cell. Once again, repression is shown to have drastic psychological consequences.
Themes
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and the Past Theme Icon
Absence, Silence, and Denial Theme Icon
Normalcy vs. Deviance Theme Icon
Reg collects both Rosemary and Harlow from jail and takes Rosemary home. At first, Rosemary makes a desperate series of calls in order to find Madame Defarge, but is eventually overtaken by exhaustion and falls asleep. By the time she wakes up, it is dark. She has always suspected that Lowell ventures out at night. There was one occasion when Lowell woke Rosemary in the middle of the night and took her outside with him, telling her to pretend to be an Indian and be very quiet. They approached a pond with turtles in it, and Rosemary threw some crackers in for them. Nearby, there was a walkway leading to a house framed by two large statues of dogs. Rosemary later learned that the statues resembled the wealthy owners’ actual dogs and marked the dogs’ graves.
Rosemary’s memory of her trip outside with Lowell suggests that at night, the siblings felt uniquely free to explore their affinity with animals and their own animalistic behavior. Furthermore, while Rosemary has spent her life trying to do deny and repress the animal side of her personality, Lowell has indulged his; even if it is under the cover of darkness. There is a sense of similarity here between Lowell and the folkloric figure of the Werewolf, a man who is transformed into a wolf under the light of the full moon. Indeed, stories about werewolves set an important precedent for exploring the animal/human divide.
Themes
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and the Past Theme Icon
Absence, Silence, and Denial Theme Icon
Normalcy vs. Deviance Theme Icon
Lowell lay down and Rosemary did the same, placing her head on his stomach. The memory brings her happiness. She thinks about the four things that are currently missing: 1) her bicycle, 2) Madame Defarge, 3) the journals, 4) Lowell, and 5) Fern. Rosemary suspects that Lowell knows where Fern is and hopes that this knowledge will not be upsetting, even as she knows this is unlikely.
Throughout her life, Rosemary remains fixated on loss. In this passage, she draws an explicit connection between lost objects and her lost siblings. Again, Rosemary has a tendency not to distinguish between the human and nonhuman. While Lowell is a human and the bicycle is clearly not, both Madame Defarge and Fern have a more ambiguous status.
Themes
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and the Past Theme Icon