Essay title: Saint Maybe
By: Shanna Gonzales English 3- 4/5December 7, 2005Ann Tyler’s Saint Maybe is a complex work that analyzes the grieving process and the human need to reconcile for our sins or wrong doings. At the beginning of the book the Bedloe’s are described as the perfect family, much similar to that of a 50’s sitcom. Mr.
Bedloe is a hard working husband and caring father. And Mrs. Bedloe is a neat cheerful wife and mother. While their children achieve average to excelling academic scores and are athletically as well as socially inclined. Their youngest child, Ian, is even described as being, “handsome and easy going, quick to make friends, fond of a good time.” But as soon after the lose of their oldest son, Danny, all of the Bedloes begin to under go personality changes related to the lose. Each family member grieves in their own way, but each follows the general process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
In the beginning of the book, the Bedloes are surprised to hear that there oldest son is engaged to a divorcee with two children. Yet, feeling it is not their place to interfere, they all put on a happy face and welcome Lucy and her children into the family. Lucy is strikingly beautiful and kind. But soon Lucy begins stir up doubts amongst Danny’s family. Soon after the wedding Danny and Lucy announce that they are pregnant. Lucy to plump out almost immediately, and the baby is born only seven months after the wedding.
Although Lucy claims the baby was premature, it appears to rosy checked and pudgy to be premature. This is the first cause for suspicion among the family. Claudia and Ian, Danny’s brother and sister, begin to suspect that the baby is not Danny’s at all. On thanksgiving they discuses with each other their suspicions while carving the turkey, when Claudia tells Ian that she thinks Lucy hoodwinked Danny into marrying her because she knew she was pregnant. Ian becomes outraged and insists that they must talk sense into Danny.
But being a married person herself, Claudia understands the private agreements and complexities of a marriage and tells Ian not to interfere with Danny’s marriage because he appears to be happy. Soon after the baby is a few months, Lucy begins to call Danny to baby-sit quite frequently. Often times Lucy gets very dolled up before she goes out on her escapades and even occasionally comes home with expensive looking gifts. Ian begins to expect that Lucy is having an affair. Then one night Lucy call’s Mrs. Bedloe asking if Ian could baby-sit, because she has urgent matters to attend to.
Ian is reluctant to go, but is forced into volunteering his services because of his mother. When he arrives at his brother’s house he informs Lucy that he has an important date and she has to be home by 8:30. What he doesn’t tell her, is that his girlfriend, Cicely’s, parents are out of town for the night and this is suppose to be a night of intimacy for the tow of them. When Lucy does not come home at 8:30, he grows angry and impatient. When Danny arrives home at ten o’clock, Ian explodes and cons his brother into driving him home to freshen up and then over to Cicely’s house.
In front of their parents house, still very angry about the events of the night, Ian blurts out that Danny’s wife is cheating on him and that it’s quite obvious the baby isn’t his and wasn’t premature. As Ian is upstairs washing up, he hears the rev of an engine and the loud crash of his brother’s car smashing into a brick wall, but no squeal of breaks. Danny is killed in the crash and the whole family assumes it was an accident, except Danny. Danny believes his brother drove into the wall to commit suicide, because of what he told him about Lucy. The whole family undergoes changes. Mrs.
Bedloe is not as cheerful as she once was and becomes.