Rubyfruit Jungle | Study Guide

Rita Mae Brown

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Rubyfruit Jungle | Book 2, Chapter 9 | Summary

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Summary

Molly's senior year is as good as she anticipated, thanks mostly to her quick-witted blackmail scheme that has given her and Connie any privilege they care to claim. Carolyn, as the captain of the cheerleaders, has similar success as the "social leader of the school." But while Molly and Connie are playing the game and having sex with their boyfriends, Carolyn is still holding out on her steady, Larry. Finally she decides on a time when she will lose her virginity. The morning after the event, she meets Molly for breakfast to see if she "did it right." Molly advises her she is taking it all too seriously, and the two make a plan to go drinking Friday night, just the two of them, because Connie will be away.

Friday night Carolyn and Molly make love together most of the night. The next morning Molly learns Carolyn had a female lover at summer camp, a fellow counselor named Susan, and Molly tells Carolyn about Leota. The two girls begin spending all their time together, and Connie gets jealous. When Molly suggests they stop being so wrapped up in each other for Connie's sake, Carolyn gets jealous. When the pressure from both sides gets to Molly, she finally tells Connie what is going on. Connie cannot handle the idea of her two friends making love together, so she breaks off the friendship. Molly cannot deal with the way Carolyn handles the situation, so she breaks off that relationship as well. Molly ends up feeling isolated the rest of the year and thinks more than once about how much she misses talking to Carl.

Analysis

The foreshadowing in Chapter 7, when Molly first realizes how much she desires Carolyn, proves true in this chapter when the girls become lovers. Molly enjoys making love to Carolyn and adores her body, but as she says when Carolyn questions her about the possibility of loving two people—Molly and Susan—Molly's reply is "I'm not jealous, if that's what you're after." Her cavalier attitude about love and sex is evident as well when she tells Connie, "I make love with Carolyn. Carolyn makes love with me. I make love with Clark and Carolyn makes love with Larry."

Perhaps more significant, however, is how much Molly resents the labeling from both Carolyn and Connie. Connie says the girls are "queer," and Carolyn reacts vehemently, saying it can't be true because she is "very feminine." She goes on to say maybe Molly could be labeled queer because she "can throw a football as far as Clark." This is exactly the kind of stereotyping Molly abhors, and it causes a "delicate whiff of hate [to curl] round my nostrils" toward Carolyn. Connie, too, is angry with Carolyn and says, "Why don't you come right out and call me a dyke too" because Connie knows she is not "feminine" the way Carolyn views herself.

Despite Connie's outrage at Carolyn's naïve comments claiming she cannot possibly be queer because of her femininity defined by her beauty as society sees it (as opposed to Connie's stout build and Molly's extreme athleticism), she simply cannot accept her two best friends' homosexuality. It tortures her because as a journalist she has always prided herself on her open-mindedness. But the idea Molly might "rape [her] or something" is ingrained in her by society's stereotypical view of lesbians, and she is unable to get it out of her mind.

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