We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Part 4, Chapter 5 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 5 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Rosemary calls Harlow and the bar again in order to find Madame Defarge, but again is unsuccessful. She wanders around town for two hours “searching for various things I couldn’t find.” Back at the apartment, Todd and Kimmy say that while she was gone, Ezra came to see Harlow and ended up lecturing them about their damaged smoke alarm. Then another (unknown) man came and returned Madame Defarge. After this, Harlow herself arrived. Finally, a third man came; Rosemary recognizes from the description that it is Lowell, but he called himself Travers. Harlow and “Travers” left to have dinner together, and told Todd and Kimmy to tell Rosemary to join them.
This passage drives home the point that when people intentionally look for things that are missing, it is often impossible to find them. Rosemary’s experience fulfils the cliché that when seeking something out, we often end up searching in all the wrong places. The fact that everything showed up while Rosemary was out highlights her continued lack of control over the events in her life. This is further emphasized by Lowell’s sudden connection to Harlow and their trip out to dinner together.
Themes
Absence, Silence, and Denial Theme Icon
Rosemary gets changed and inspects Madame Defarge, suddenly feeling sad at the prospect of having to return her to her owner. She ponders “Theory of Mind,” a concept describing the capacity for awareness of other people’s perspectives, and recalls a 1978 psychology paper entitled: “Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?” This question continues to be debated among psychologists, including Rosemary’s father (who believes the answer is no). Rosemary feels nervous as she walks up to the restaurant to meet Harlow and Lowell. She wishes she could be alone with Lowell, and hopes that Harlow has “a sharp enough theory of mind” to realize this.
Despite all the chaos and destruction that have defined Rosemary’s life of late, she continues to see the world in a profoundly scientific, rational perspective. It is almost as if Rosemary is a scientific researcher observing human behavior rather than a member of the human species herself. Indeed, this makes sense both in light of Rosemary’s feelings of affinity with animals, and also given that she spent her early life being observed and tested by graduate students studying human and animal behavior.
Themes
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and the Past Theme Icon
Absence, Silence, and Denial Theme Icon
Science, Knowledge, and Experiments Theme Icon