Tom’s section is written in the 1st person however I felt I learned more about Anabel and her personal sometimes twisted thoughts and acts. Tom describes that his soul had unionized with Anabel’s and that they were becoming too similar of people. At first this sounded extremely romantic, but truly became the downfall of their relationship. Franzen once again portrays a realistic depiction of two people blinded by love and too entwined to see the bigger picture. I specifically want to draw attention to Anabel’s developed eating disorder as well as her outside relationships with Tom’s mother and her own father. Similar to Morgan, I too noticed the acknowledgment of Anabel and her extreme weight loss resulting in a loss of her period and excessive exercise. While he acknowledges these issues he never brings up these issues with Anabel and instead encourages her by going along with them. He is consistently her exercise partner and allows her to eat one or fewer meals a day without question. Why not speak up? Are they too tangled together that there is no critical perspective in the relationship?
These questions also come up again with Anabel’s relationships with Tom’s judgmental mother and her father. She clearly is extremely opinionated and refuses to water down her character or compromise to better her personal relationships. While I praise Anabel for her individuality, was Tom wrong go against his mother’s warnings in marrying Anabel? While reading the section I always wanted Tom to speak up or challenge Anabel, but maybe he feels they are too similar or there is no use because Anabel will not change. Anabel’s father also warned Tom after she spit in his face that she would do the same to Tom eventually. Again, Tom ignored this not even having a conversation with Anabel about this incident. Their marriage was doomed from the beginning, but I wonder if it did not have to be that way.