The bond of sisters is a very rare and special bond. Sometimes it is hard to like one’s sisters but that doesn’t mean one doesn’t love them. It’s ok to think to yourself how much you dislike a certain quality of your sister but if someone else dares comment you are ready to defend her. Sisters are not always the same. They each have their own characteristics, styles and personalities. One thing is for sure, they are the only ones that truly know your family past, because they lived it too. I once read a quote about sisters that I found very interesting. “Sisters are different flowers from the same garden. This quote could not be truer for the McGrath sisters. In the McGrath garden three beautiful and unique flowers bloomed; Lenny, Meg and Babe. All three McGrath sisters suffered the abandonment of their father and lived through the suicide of their mother; however the lasting impact was different for each. Each sister found their own way to cope or not cope with the traumatic incidents that occurred during their childhood. They felt alone in their suffering until the three sisters are brought back together under dramatic circumstances. Babe has shot her husband.
The reunion of the three sisters shows how even though they have all tried to get past their childhood troubles they still continue to affect them in adulthood. Lenny is the oldest of the three. She is portrayed as a simple type of girl. She has low self esteem and is affected greatly by what other people think of her. People can easily bring her down and they do it for their own benefit. Lenny has a bad ovary and Granddad has always brought up that issue. It has made her feel like she didn’t deserve to be with a man. Lenny felt that she was not worthy of marrying a man because she would not be able to have children.
Another example is her cousin constant put downs about her family. Chickie Boyle has always been there to tell Lenny what an embarrassment her family is. She tells her that Meg is known as cheap Christmas trash around the county. She makes Lenny feel like her mother’s suicide has stained her family name. These comments make Lenny feel embarrassed and ashamed of her family. Lenny uses the excuse of taking care of Granddad to not be able to make a life for herself. When Granddad is taken to the hospital she joins a singles group called Lonely Hearts of the South and meets Charlie.
She seems to get along great with him but after awhile she lets her insecurities about having a bad ovary take over and she breaks it off without even telling him. Several times throughout the play she is shown to resent Meg for always getting whatever she wanted. Meg is the middle sister. She is portrayed as a bit of a free spirit. Meg moved away to California with the excuse of pursuing her singing career. Meg doesn’t communicate much with her sisters. Lenny had to send a telegram to notify her about Babe. She is a bit of a rebel and doesn’t care much what people think or say about her.
When cousin Chickie see’s her smoking she tells her that she shouldn’t smoke because it causes cancer of the lungs and Megs replies, “That’s what I like about it, taking a drag of death. ” Meg was the one that found her mother after she committed suicide. This is what has caused her to desensitize herself from any kind of feelings. She is self-centered and disconnected from any kind of feelings. In one scene she tells her ex-boyfriend Doc Porter, “I don’t want to care. ” The unfortunate luck of having found her mother was too much for her to absorb that she shut down from reality.
Her move to California was more of a way to get away from her past. She wanted to start a new life that would not be filled with constant reminders of what she and her sisters had lived through. Babe is the youngest of the three. Babe married when she was still very young. She married an older, wealthy lawyer when she was eighteen. Babe’s marriage was a way for her to get some kind of security and feel wanted. She also falls easily for men/ boys that pay her any kind of attention. She has an affair with a fifteen year old black boy. Babes tells Meg that she had an affair with Willie Jay because she was lonely.
Babe is afraid to be alone. Unlike her older sisters, Babe doesn’t try to band-aid the events of her life. She keeps a scrapbook with both good and bad memories. She wants to be able to look back and know that this stuff really happened. When Lenny asks her why she keeps a book of such things Babe responds, “I Just like to keep an accurate record. ” Babe’s imprisonment turns out to be a blessing in disguise. It helps to bring the sisters together. The sisters use each other to get past their troubled youth. They realized that only siblings can truly relate to how things really went at home.
There is nothing to hide because they also know the truth. The big reunion helps Lenny realize that she does deserve to have a life of her own. She is not responsible for what her mother did. She is not a bad person and she deserves to have happiness in her life just as much as anyone. She finally gets the nerve to put cousin Chickie in her place. She sticks up for her sisters because she realizes that they have been through as much as she has. She becomes proud of her family and stops feeling ashamed of the bad hand that they were dealt. She gets the nerve to call Charlie and tell him the truth about her problem.
She is not worried if he will accept her because with the help of her sisters she has learned to accept herself. Meg also realizes that even though she moved away to a new state, her past is still stopping her from being happy. On her outing with Doc she learns to let herself feel. She has suppressed her feelings for so long she thought she wouldn’t have feelings anymore. The curse is broken and she has never been happier in her life. In Babe’s suicide attempt she learns of the reason why her mother did it. She understands that her mother was scared of dying and that she took the cat with her because she felt alone.
With that babe is also free of her curse. She realizes that there are always going to be bad days but she has her sisters to help her get past them. She is not alone. In the end the three sisters realize that they have each other. Through each other they learn to let go of what has happened to them because it is not what defines them. In each other they learn to find hope for a new beginning. They can look forward to a better tomorrow. Life goes on and they are part of it. Three beautiful flowers, each with their own special quality and together they make the McGrath garden.