Questions for Roxane Gay’s “Once, I was pretty”
What do you make of the sentence: “Many of my childhood memories are woven with my mother’s hair.” Is this just a nice image, or are there deeper implications suggested here? If so, what are they?
What comes first—the memory or the picture? Does this essay imply that if the picture did not exist in a family albums, she would not have a memory of the event? Take note of the curious brackets in the first paragraph: “[insert significant family moment].”
It seems that for Gay pictures works as proxies—objects that stand in for “the why”—or do erase the why—what are your thoughts—how do you think family pictures—or Facebook albums work. What purpose do they serve in the relationships with our family and friends? Do they explain things that are “complicated and slippery” or do they do away with things that are so?