When her daughter, Rebecca, asks her why she is crying if they don’t mean anything, Emily thinks to herself, “If I am crying it’s because I don’t remember him… Transparent. Casting no shadow. A phantom, Like myself’ (1321). She also asks herself If phantoms weep (1321). Also, while “communicating” with her two sons, Emily can’t help but notice that they gaze through her as though she is transparent, and when they hear about her love letters she has a feeling that they are asking “How can a phantom have love letters” (1314)? Emily has repressed memories accompanied by overwhelming guilt. E doesn’t know who she Is therefore seeing herself as a phantom. Emily describes her daughter, Rebecca-Maxine as having scarlet lips and tubercular-looking patches of rouge on each powdered cheek. Her hair smells of chemicals and singe due to the platinum rinse and curling Iron she uses. Rebecca now wears sickly colored “frocks” instead of Jeans and spends most of her time indoors watch TV or listening to bad versions of songs from the Twenties, Thirsts, and Forties. Emily says Rebecca is not ‘nice at all” and is waiting for something to happen, yet nothings has (1314).
Emily believes she Is to blame for the way Rebecca Is. Rebecca also decides to change her name to Maxine. Emilee sons, Adam and Andrew, are described as tall and blonde. They have drooping mustaches, wear cowboy hats, heavy metal belt buckles, and boots. They look like “sheriffs” (1314). They walk with a lazy grace, talk without moving their lips, and have courtly manners. As they grow older and nicer they become less real (1314). Her sons later on decide to move to Oregon and become Organic Farmers. Through imagery, we can see that like their mother, Rebecca-Maxine, Adam, and Andrew are struggling with an identity robber.
Growing up with a mother who doesn’t know who she is herself has made It hard for them to find themselves as well. Emily finally sees this at the end of the story when Rebecca-Maxine tells her that she wants to change her name to Emily. 1 OFF Emily tells near marinas Tanat seen cannot ay Tanat Decease I t near name Ana Tanat ten love letters are hers too. In her own way Emily is telling Rebecca-Maxine to find her own identity. “Wipe off that acropolises makeup and get up off the couch and go get your own love letters” (1321). The ID bracelet mentioned in the story is symbolic to Emily.
Without the racket she doesn’t know who she is and feels like a nobody. She is playing a role of housewife and mother, but doesn’t seem to happy. She is Just there. After finding the bracelet again Emily begins to realize that she needs to find herself and make an identity of her own. She understands that finding herself and not being what people expect of her will help her become her own and happy. For one to be happy we need to know who we truly are inside and not be what people think we should be. We must to come to terms with our past and the things we want to forget in order to become the person we want to be.