Melanctha’s Troublesome Nature

“Melanctha Herbert had not loved her father and her mother and they had found it very troublesome to have her.” (Stein, 50)

“I just say to you now, like I always been saying to you, you don’t know never the right way, any kind of decent girl has to be acting, and so Melanctha Herbert, me and Sam, we don’t never any more you to be setting your foot in my house here Melanctha Herbert, I just tell you.  And so you just go along now, Melanctha Herbert, you hear me,” (Stein, 139)

Both of these passages have a strong connection and the strong connection is Melanctha’s own “troublesome” nature.  In the beginning of the novel, Melanctha talks about her bitter experiences as a child due to the lack of love from her parents and most importantly, her father’s constant rebukes about her running away with John, the Bishops’ coachmen.  Her father’s bitter remark about her eloping with John made Melanctha become a “troublesome” girl which becomes an important factor as the novel progresses.  Throughout the novel, Melanctha experiences blooming relationships with men such as John Campbell and Jems Richards and friends like Rose Johnson, however, Melanctha’s “troublesome” nature ends up disrupting her blooming relationships, especially her relationship with Rose Johnson.  Rose Johnson, becoming fed up of hearing neighbors’ taunts about Melanctha’s ill nature and Melanctha’s flirtatious attitude, her thoughts of committing suicide, and not behaving like a decent girl, abandons Melanctha.  Similarly, John Campbell and Jems Richards leave Melanctha since they felt that she didn’t love them anymore and she was just playing with their emotions.  In the beginning, it is ironic how her father accused her of eloping with John which makes Melanctha develop a “troublesome” nature in the future.  Once Melanctha develops into an adult, her flirting habits and whining nature becomes such a huge nuisance for Rose Johnson and her suitors that Melanctha finds herself abandoned by her loved ones.

Leave a Reply