We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

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

Summary
Analysis
An apartment becomes available in Rosemary’s building and Ezra allows Harlow to move in temporarily while he waits to find a new long-term tenant. Lowell had told Harlow that he wouldn’t be back, but Harlow clearly didn’t believe him and now she cannot stop talking about him, asking Rosemary infinite questions about his life. Rosemary answers Harlow’s questions but insists that Lowell is a wanted man and isn’t coming back. Unfortunately, this only makes Harlow’s longing for him more intense.
Harlow’s fixation with Lowell at first seems rather silly and pathetic. Just as five-year-old Rosemary fell in love with the neighborhood bad boy Russell Tupman, now Harlow meets Lowell for one day and immediately falls for his mysterious persona. At the same time, Harlow’s longing for Lowell mirrors Rosemary’s desperation for her brother to come back after he originally left.
Themes
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
Absence, Silence, and Denial Theme Icon
Science, Knowledge, and Experiments Theme Icon
Normalcy vs. Deviance Theme Icon
Through her research, Rosemary has learned that anyone can join the Animal Liberation Front. The organization encourages its members to destroy property and to publicize the abuse of animals taking place behind closed doors. It focuses on urgent action, not waiting for the tide of public opinion to gradually change. Harlow is morose; she cries constantly and stops eating. Rosemary is irritated by this, as Harlow has only known Lowell momentarily, and so Rosemary largely ignores her. Instead, she throws herself into her finals and continues to devote time to chasing the lost suitcase. Just as Rosemary is packing to return home for Christmas, a police officer arrives at her door.
Perhaps because she has had to deal with the sudden loss and prolonged absence of family members so many times, Rosemary is rather stoic in the face of Lowell’s disappearance. She is accustomed to finding ways of feeling Lowell’s presence through his absence, such as in her constant thinking about the Animal Liberation Front. Harlow, meanwhile, cannot cope with Lowell’s absence despite the fact that she only knew him for one day. In this sense, Rosemary is shown to be far more well-adjusted and mature than Harlow.
Themes
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and the Past Theme Icon
Absence, Silence, and Denial Theme Icon
Normalcy vs. Deviance Theme Icon