My guilty conscience is bad enough! But now i have to see ghosts too?!

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"'Come with me, Carter. Come to where I am"' (85).

            I have been trying to analyze the meaning of Ginger's ghost in the first 100 pages. Being that we have only read one third of the book so far, my interpretations will most likely change drastically by the end of the novel.

            So far my take on Ginger's ghost is that she is actually a part of Carter's conscious talking to him, kind of like the voice in your head that helps you decide what to do. Another way of looking at it is like in cartoons and movies where you see yourself dressed as a devil on one shoulder and as an angel on the other. I think we all have conversations with ourselves through thought. We analyze our decisions, the possible outcomes of our decisions, the meaning of our existence, etc.

            To further analyze Ginger as a voice inside Carter's head, perhaps she is the voice of his guilty conscience. In the first conversation we witness between the two, Ginger says, "'Speaking of stones. I wouldn't have minded one of my own. You could've inscribed upon it 'Here lies the victim of an unhappy marriage.' Nothing fancy, just to the point"' (33). She visits Carter almost every night reminding him of all the mistakes he made during his marriage to Ginger. He seems to want to move on, find someone else, find peace and happiness again, but his guilty conscious prevents him from doing so. He imagines how Ginger would feel about him already moving on to a new relationship, "'Carter, I swear, if I ever catch you in this bed with anybody. I'll give you both heart attacks"' (35). He starts to have odd feelings about Donald, his gardener. In his mind it's almost as if he is thinking, what are these feelings? Could I be falling for a man? Oh dear God, could I be bisexual? That's when Ginger comes along, the guilty conscience to interrogate and insult him for these digressions, "'It's humiliating the way you're all a-bubble around those young men. And that one man..."' (85).

            Carter's guilty conscience also comes in the form of Ginger to tell him that he is a bad father. She says to him, "'Come with me, Carter. Come to where I am"' (85). Could he be contemplating suicide here? I think so. Then he remembers Annabel and thinks in the form of Ginger, "'Annabel? She'll get along. Children stay children for far too long. Annabel will be fine. You're not raising her properly anyway, what with those soirees you're always hostessing"' (85). This quote is what first got me thinking Ginger's ghost was Carter's guilty conscience. The way Annabel seems to adore her mother makes me think Ginger would not be so quick to encourage Carter to leave Annabel as an orphan. Therefore, I feel as though this quote had to of come from Carter's thoughts not Ginger.


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