Wells Tower’s “Door in Your Eye”

The characters in the stories by Wells Tower always surprise me with the roles they play.  I feel like a lot of the time I expect the characters to play an equal part or to be as equally developed, or I expect to have an equal insight into all of them.  I sometimes feel like there is more of a hierarchy in Wells Tower’s characters.  In this story I expected the daughter, Charlotte, to play a larger role, especially with her involvement early in the story.  I feel like she was a bit forgotten about, and I wanted to know more about her, just like I wanted to know more about Lucy in “Executors of Important Energies,” although we got a lot more insight into her than we did Charlotte.  It’s like they’re lurking throughout the story and are almost more interesting than the characters that take up the most room in the climax.  I believed the voice of Albert — old, cranky, seeming a little bit naive — although I am not sure naive is the correct word to use.  However, there was that detachment from the present day that each generation goes through when a new one comes along.  I found that even though the mystery in the story surrounded Carol, I was hardly as interested in her as I was in putting my finger on exactly what made Albert so genuine or why Charlotte was the way she was.

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One Response to Wells Tower’s “Door in Your Eye”

  1. heathermctague says:

    I agree about the characters. I wanted to know more about Charlotte, about how she lived there in that apartment for so long and never found out the truth. I wanted to know why Albert was so obsessed with the woman across the way and why he really went over to her — Carol’s — place. There had to be more, which I could have missed, because he could have just as easily picked up the phone and called her to let her know that someone had tried to burn her place down. But I feel like we were missing something between Albert and Charlotte. I didn’t/couldn’t grasp their relationship because it was a strange father-daughter one, which I think could have been fleshed out more. Since she really gave him the chills with her photos, there must have been other things that she had done that brought up the same feelings of unease. I remember him saying that she had changed a bit and wasn’t how he remembered her, but more explanation here would have been nice. Right now, I would say that their relationship is explained to us in much the same way that the stepfather/son relationship is explained to us in the story “Leopard.” The only difference is that in “Leopard” we get more feelings and clues from the boys actions than we get from Albert or Charlotte on how they feel towards each other.
    Charlotte’s character is not one that I understand the purpose of. When I first read this story, I believed that she was there to give us information that we wouldn’t otherwise know, but I didn’t feel like she gave us all that much. What exactly was her intended role as a character in this story?

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