Blackwater Betty Black Analysis

732 Words3 Pages
Sharing Control in Greg Doherty’s “Blackwater Betty Black” The sound of a breakdown may be accompanied by skidding tires and breaking glass or just quiet weeping in the night. In Backwater Betty Black, by Greg Doherty, both sounds are heard. The novel is the story of a jaded psych nurse, Betty Black, who takes a mental patient, Doug Vane, on a road trip that would try anyone’s sanity. Ultimately, the story portrays the relationship between happiness and control. To be happy, Doherty argues, one must be neither too controlling nor too controlled; and sometimes the only way to gain perspective on one’s sense of control is to lose control for a while. Nurse Betty Black is a control freak. In the opening scene, she reacts to news of her infertility by steering the conversation—about ways she has tried to control her…show more content…
Right on the cusp, according to his doctors, of being able to “manage his own medicine cabinet” (3), Doug is in need of confidence and scaffolding to ease his way into a lifestyle where he is more responsible for himself. Unfortunately for him, after Betty’s car breaks down, he moves almost instantly from being under Betty’s smothering care to running around in the woods, lost and hungry and afraid. Doug needs more control over his mind and body, and is hoping that he will not be the one that has to deliver it to himself, because he is way out of practice at self-discipline. If Betty and Doug are to meet halfway, in their relationship with each other, it would have to be around the issue of control. Indeed, this is the case. When … Etc… (do you really need to see all the middle paragraphs to know how to do them? Just follow the same pattern, tying more plot evidence and quotes to the thesis. Now here’s the
Open Document