Scarlet is the oldest of the girls. Her bio from the website:
Not that Scarlet doesn’t wish to share the burden. Or a moment of silence. A moment of quiet understanding with a soulmate. A moment of true togetherness. Her loneliness is a secret she will take to the grave. Sooner than she may expect.
|You can’t? What’s the alternative?|
Scarlet is serious, neat, and tight-laced. Most of her interactions and comments on the world around her reflect a need for order. Her personality seems very likely to clash with Ginger and Carmen. But she also has a lot of unfulfilled needs. She’s lonely (probably for a man) burdened, overworked, and under-appreciated.
Scarlet is a personality I’ve met before and I’ve always found her impact on the people around her to be really interesting. Imagine everyone has a couple of Sims-style sliders: One is their desire for order, and the other is their initiative and ability to do work without external prompting. A Scarlet has both of those sliders near the top. Her need for neatness and organization forms an interesting pattern of behavior. (If you’re down with the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, a Scarlet is a massive SJ.) In college, she’s the roommate who keeps doing the dishes and cleaning every day when everyone else can’t be bothered. But she’ll naturally start to resent how everyone else will leave their messes for her to clean up. But the sloppier roommates might not be actually taking advantage of her. They just don’t have the same standards of cleanliness. They can go to bed at the end of the day with dirty dishes in the sink and they don’t think about doing the dishes until they start to run out. But a Scarlet can’t bear to leave something like this go. She does the dishes, and then grumbles to herself that they ALWAYS leave her to do the dishes. She feels used and unappreciated, and becomes prickly with her roommates. She thinks they’re lazy jerks. They think she’s a rude bitch.
Who do we blame for this? Scarlet really is doing their work. But they would do their own work if she let it go. (Eventually.) But it drives her crazy to do so and she can’t bear living with a mess. They would pull their own weight, but Scarlet would have to put up with living with a constant level of entropy around her. How much depends on where everyone else’s neatness slider is.
The truth is you can blame either side as you like, the real problem is that you’ve got vastly different personalities attempting to live together, and their divergent needs makes conflict inevitable. Slobs vs. Neat Freaks. One person says, “A clean house is a sign of a wasted life.” The other says, “How can you live like this?!?”
Scarlet is sometimes a difficult housemate or family member, although she makes a dynamite employee. Scarlets obviously need to be really careful when choosing a mate to avoid spending the rest of their lives either clashing or nursing silent resentment. Don’t marry a Scarlet unless you’re a bit of a Scarlet yourself. (And then there is always the chance that the two of you will have low-neatness kids. Ain’t life a stinker?)
Anyway, everyone in the family is lucky that Scarlet is running the show. Everyone except Scarlet. She obviously has very little time for herself, and she needs it.
The woman is a bit of a mystery to me. At least, I assume she’s a woman. Young face, but long white hair. Female face, but no discernible breasts. Ash-colored robes, with a bright green strip around each elbow. Is her age and her gender deliberately obfuscated here? Was this a design decision, or just the result of the Burton-esque art style? (Some people have been very critical of how odd the models look, and suggest that the artist didn’t know what they were doing. But if you think of them as characters in a Tim Burton movie they look just right. Go play MSG 4 or something if you want photo-realism.)
As she approaches the pavilion, Scarlet comments that, “Art is where the nobility of humanity is expressed. I could not live without it.” (Emphasis mine.) She sits down at the piano and begins playing. Strange Lady comes over and stands beside her as if she was Scarlet’s music teacher. The curtain falls. Fade to black.
After her wolf encounter, Scarlet’s walk seems more depressed than distressed. As we travel through grandma’s house, a lot of the furniture is missing, or covered in white bedsheets.
I imagine her life is a joyless grind. Worse, she can look all the way to the horizon and see that things aren’t going to change anytime soon.
My first thought was that she took her own life. The other possibility is that her wolf encounter was simply the final end to her childhood. The curtain fell on the part of her life that included music and free time, and she began her adult life. I don’t see Strange Music Lady as a direct threat, and I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to try to interpret this one literally.
|As we enter grammy’s house, everything is covered is sheets. I have nothing else to say on any other symbolism you might perceive in this image.|
Assuming she’s stuck raising the girls, then she won’t be free to really live life for another ten years. On the upside, once the other girls no longer need her she’ll likely still be young enough to find a husband (which it seems she wants) and pursue her own interests. Actually, her life might level out a bit sooner. Her burden will lighten every couple of years or so as the younger girls become old enough to share responsibility and some move out.
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