Naylor-Tatterson: Interference

“In the house he was unpredictable, and had a habit ‘of nervously interfering in domestic matters whenever his writing was not going well’. He badgered Elizabeth about his morning coffee, ‘often changing his preferences from day to day but not telling her until she had prepared it’. He bullied her, the children and the servants. Nevertheless, he depended on her management skills.

-Fitzgerald

 

This was an interesting quotation from Fitzgerald’s work in Chapter 3. It describes Melville as interfering in his home life when his personal writing wasn’t going well. He “badgered” his wife when things didn’t go his way. He “bullied” her, the children and the servants. This relates to the idea we were talking about in class last week about how people with Autism are typically portrayed in media. Typically people with autism are portrayed in media as an angel that makes everyone else around them better because of them. Like in Rain Man, Tom Cruise’s character becomes a more compassionate person and brother because of his brother Raymond. This is not what we read in Fitzgerald’s description of Herman Melville. He seems quite unpleasant to be around, and I would personally not have the patience to be married to someone like him. The way he treats his family is not the “angel” that most people with autism in media portray.  It is interesting that in his short story “Bartleby the Scrivener”, the character Bartleby is also shown as slightly rude. He choses not to listen to his boss and says, “I’d rather not.” People with autism have a disability, but sometimes that disability makes them do things that can be perceived as rude.

 

This article is all about the opposite: people with asperger’s being the victim of bullying. It was difficult to find anything about people with AS as the bullies. I remember a time when I was riding the bus in elementary school. A boy, who now looking back on it, had some form of autism, would bully kids and push them against the walls of the bus. I was scared of him and I never wanted to sit with him on the bus. He was very mean to kids younger than him. One time, he did sit with me on the bus. I still remember his ultra thick glasses, and him pushing my shoulders against the bus window. This type of information wouldn’t be a popular thing to write about and bring to the public’s attention. People don’t want to hear that someone with a disability could be rude or even considered a jerk. As a teacher, I can see how students with autism can be a threat to others in the classroom. One student will tell people when he doesn’t like something they created, or how he dislikes what they are wearing. Writers want to bring awareness of autism and disabilities so that more people will sympathize with them. I think this is important that writers do this. More understanding needs to happen about autism.

 

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