Are You Eccentric? It’s a valid question? Coming from a family that revels in eccentricity it’s kind of a given. My struggle is accepting my own eccentricity and trying to feel like it’s safe to be a little kooky. For my second digital story critique, I wanted to take a deeper dive into what it means to eccentric, wacky, abnormal, and downright weird.
Compared to my story critique from last week, Laura Grace Weldon has a much better understanding of what eccentricity is and what place eccentrics have in the world treats the subject with an intelligence and sensitivity that isn’t often seen when people operate outside of what is considered “normal.”
Telling the story of Betty is a smart way of drawing the audience in to what can be an emotionally conflicting. Her portrayal of Betty as a person who quietly stood out of a crowd in a place “teeming with all sorts of progressive people.” In Ms. Weldon’s view, Betty becomes more human and relatable than most people who are labeled eccentric are typically seen as. In addition to Betty, the way the author pieces the story together gives us a sense of who she is as a person.
Though the author cites the work of David Weeks pretty extensively, she uses the characteristics of eccentrics in a way that drew me to self-reflect on my own characteristics and the those of my family. It may be how both Ms. Weldon and Mr. Weeks organized these traits, but they create a very clear mirror that invites the reader to try on the role of an eccentric on for size to see if it fits. It also helps the reader feel comfortable if it does or doesn’t fit and that sometimes the label might fit better on someone else and that’s OK too.
Ms. Weldon has a good understanding of what it means to be a little on the eccentric side. While she explores the freedom that eccentricity allows people, she also sees the dark side of being different – the uncertainty, the social isolation, and the pervasive feeling that you’re a rhombus in a world of round.