We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Part 4, Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Rosemary walks into the restaurant and sees that Lowell and Harlow are sharing fondue. She can see Harlow flirting with Lowell, and feels furious. Seeing Rosemary, Lowell beckons her over, and they hug. Lowell has already ordered for her, selecting almost the exact dish she would have chosen for herself. Rosemary and Harlow begin talking to Lowell in a frenetic manner; Harlow explains that Rosemary never told her she had a brother, and tells Lowell about their multiple arrests together. While Harlow is ostensibly trying to make Rosemary sound fun and loyal, she is also clearly flirting with Lowell. After going home, Rosemary begins to wish that she wasn’t friends with Harlow at all.
This passage further illustrates the idea that Harlow is filling the gap left by Fern in Rosemary’s life. Like Fern, Harlow leads Rosemary into dangerous, deviant behavior, and as with Fern, Rosemary feels both close to and intensely jealous of Harlow. The fact that the two girls compete over Lowell’s attention recalls Rosemary’s earlier thoughts about the problem of female solidarity. Rather than honoring their friendship with one another, both Rosemary and Harlow compete for the attention and approval of a man.
Themes
Family, Tradition, and the Past Theme Icon
Normalcy vs. Deviance Theme Icon
“Just like the old days,” Lowell comes to pick Rosemary up in the middle of the night. At first he doesn’t say anything, but once they are outside her apartment he hugs her and asks if she wants some pie. Lowell asks about their parents, and as Rosemary updates him she feels gradually less angry. They walk into a diner where they are the only customers, and order two pieces of banana cream pie. Rosemary notices that Lowell is looking more like their father, and also that he looks “exhausted.”
In this passage, Lowell finally begins to fulfill the role of an older brother in a more conventional manner. The fact that he chooses to wake up Rosemary in the middle of the night could simply be in service of nostalgia; at the same time, it is perhaps also evidence of Lowell’s lifestyle on the run from the law. Where as a child he had to hide his “deviant” animal impulses by sneaking out at night, as an adult he is forced to carry on doing the same thing.
Themes
Family, Tradition, and the Past Theme Icon