Taylor Wiemken Instructor Spaulding English 110. 02 January 17, 2010 Emotional Logic The family in the essay “Spite,” by Anne Trumbore, fights through the adversity of having a mother with multiple sclerosis. As the reader starts to delve into the meanings behind the words, it shows there is more of a mental quarrel going on between the family members. “Spite” expresses the battle between the logical and emotional aspects of the human that begin to coincide with each other as conflicts and complex situations arise.
The repetition of logical ideas and conversations throughout “Spite” shows the importance Anne Trumbore places on having a logical perspective during adverse situations. Anne says, “The facts are indisputable. ”(1). The word “facts” and “Three ribs, weakened by twelve years of steroids, snapped on impact. ”(1) emphasizes the exact recounting of the moment her mom fell in the shower. It helps represent that even in a dire situation, Anne places the logic of the negativity she receives from her mother over the emotional response of rescuing her from the scalding water. She recounts how her mother would call her a fat ass.
Instead of an emotional response of displeasure such as crying, she takes time to analyze her body characteristics and concludes that her ass is fat compared to the rest of her body. Anne sees that the facts simply state that helping her would be counterproductive to exceeding the expectations of the class by solving the equation. The constant changing between the equation and her mother screaming brings up the question of whether logic is stronger than the emotional appeal to help. The satisfaction of solving the equation involves a greater sense of accomplishment than helping her naked, screaming mother out of the shower.
Contemplating Anne’s actions shows how the mind can categorize an emotional situation into a logical equation of finding the greatest benefit. The logic placed throughout the essay, “Spite”, infers that Anne’s emphasis on facts, as developed throughout her childhood, is important to her understanding of real life situations. The use of emotional feelings and actions between the mother and daughter in “Spite” constructs the difference between their conflicting reactions. The instant reaction of screaming by the mother as she fell in the scalding water is what most people under duress would do.
The expected response of Anne would be to help her mother in need, but her unordinary perception of not caring and brushing off the instance seems to paint her as a cold, selfish person. The shaving of Anne’s head also evokes emotions of Anne being so inadequate that her mother doesn’t seem to care about her appearance. Her mother’s emotional response of “She’s not a boy. It’s a pixie cut. ”(3) seems to contradict her action of shaving Anne’s head. Anne’s mother’s words are defending her daughter’s female identity but her actions of shaving Anne’s head are considered masculine.
Anne develops the story for the reader by explaining situations that would seem unordinary and then recounting past events that have changed her emotional capacity to not feel sorry for her mother. The essay, “Spite”, develops the mother’s emotions of fighting multiple sclerosis with the logical ideas of Anne’s decision-making during difficult circumstances. The use of Anne’s mother’s emotional responses with the logical decisions Anne contemplates in her head, helps the reader see the inner battle between the two, and how they relate to Anne’s decision-making as the essay progresses.