The Woman Of The Room Window Of A Mirror

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Walking past a nice shop with his parents one day, he catches sight through the shop window of Sophie inside, “turning in front of a mirror to look at herself wearing her first ever haute-couture dress, a school-leaving present” (Jelinek 235). Grammatically, there are three interpretations of this sentence. First, there is the surface meaning that the dress is Sophie’s graduation present. There are also two other readings: Sophie’s spinning and admiring of herself in the mirror is a present, for Rainer or for herself. For most of the book, Sophie is in a way, as Rainer describes her through the window, “Enveloped in absolute soundlessness” (Jelinek 235). Her perspective makes scant appearance, but she’s often thrust forward as an important…show more content…
He resolves to find the owner of the cap, but balks at that too, feeling that he hears “the words CAP THIEF, again and again the words CAP THIEF, CAP THIEF” with every step (Bernhard 43). For the record, he is not stealing this cap. Not only did he chance upon it in the road, he is actively trying to find its owner. He is so afraid of not fitting into any visual definition that others see in him, that his actual actions don’t matter. If he wears the cap, he has to be a butcher or a woodcutter. If he’s seen with the cap at all, he has to be a cap thief. Like Sophie, Bernhard’s character is a blank screen unto which any audience can project a definition. Having lost his job and told by doctors (he consulted multiple ones) that he will go crazy, he sits patiently in an in-between place in the middle of nowhere stripped of identity and waiting for the crazy. If it weren’t for the cap, this prescriptive prediction of mental illness would be all he had to work towards. As he wears the cap around the house, however, he has another possibility given to him. In the end, both Anna and the capped narrator find out that they are not seen or defined any differently as any other human being could be. Both characters take pains to stave off filth, whether it’s incorrect visual judgements or unwanted ones. Just before the contrast next to Sophie is heightened by the
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