“Atria” Write Up by Casey Edeiken

So a big thing that interested me about this Ramona Ausubel’s “Atria” was the depiction of Hazel’s youth coupled with her coping with her youth and coping with the rape. That’s why I followed 2 things that ultimately supported the same thesis: both of these threads are coping mechanisms. However, they exist to cope with different things.

Yellow: This is how Hazel’s age and how she copes with being this age are illustrated.

I chose to highlight both how we see her age and how she copes with her age because they go hand-in-hand. You can really see her immaturity in her decision to rebel against her mother’s perception because she goes about that rebellion in the worst possible way. However, Hazel also seems wise because she is able to remove herself from most of the teenage garble and glitter. I thought that was really interesting because she was able to remove herself from that situation by telling herself that she would grow up just as her mother wanted her to, but it’s in that “growing up” that she makes a fatal mistake and wanders into a situation of rape.

Turquoise: This is how Hazel coped with her pregnancy.

You can really see how young she is here because she never even acknowledges that her baby could be a human. She constructs these elaborate fantasies of it being an animal in order to make the whole pregnancy bearable. She is often too focused on the animals growing inside her to really care about the way other people perceive her. She has these two secrets (Johnny, the animal baby), that she keeps very quiet, and it is protecting the secret of the animals that enables her to get through the pregnancy.

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