Much has been written about the quest of Brodber's protagonist Nellie for identity, for wholeness, for balance, for sanity, for finding her way back home into the community. Nellie's efforts to find herself and to integrate into the community will be easier, Brodber declared in a speech in 1988, "when Jane and Louisa come home, i.e., when the women find themselves" (Notes). Brodber also observed in that same speech, "'coming' rather than 'being' is the appropriate action word with which to address the issue of integration into the community," a fact suggested by the game that gives the title to this novel.
An important influence on Nellie's coming home (i.e., finding herself) is the little mentioned figure Cock Robin, apparently her sweetheart, whose life the reader knows nothing about but whose frequently referenced mystifying end occurred when he "got caught up in the spirit and burnt to grease like beef suet caught in a dutchie pot!" (Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home 52).
Copyright © 2006, College Language Association. This article first appeared in CLA Journal: 50:1 (2006), 20-36.
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Dance, Daryl Cumber. "Who Was Cock Robin? A New Reading of Erna Brodber's Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home." CLA Journal 50, no. 1 (September 2006): 20-36.
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