Ginny’s Reliability

Generally a reader anticipates that the narrator is truth-telling. However, I have begun to question Ginny/Sue’s reliability as we make our way through Kind One.

Firstly, as we have discussed momentarily in class, Ginny’s name(s) is essentially an unknown. Her self introduction states, “My husband’s name was Linus Lancaster, which made me Ginny Lancaster, but they do not call me that here” (19). That in itself is a large statement to unpack. she was “made” Ginny Lancaster by existing as a wife to her husband – but this implies that she was “made” something else during a different period of her life. She was “made” Sca(r)ry Sue by the scars she carries. This “name as creation” idea that Ginny notes also brings forth the question as to who she really is. If her mere existence can be altered how is the reader to gauge Ginny as a trustworthy and reliable narrator.

Further, and what made me first question Ginny’s reliability, is the vision of Alcofibras “Alcofibras flung back his shawl and showed out his whip-cut shoulders and lifted up his gangle legs and twisted his arms…” (100). The images become more grotesque as the scene continues and it appears less and less like Ginny is simply remorseful, and more likely mentally unstable. The appearance of Alcofibras is followed by an imagined conversation with a pig. She then sings to “voices” behind the walls.

The question here is whether or not Ginny’s mind allows her to provide reliable narration for the story, and, at this point I feel as though she likely cannot, and thus has not been giving accurate testimony during the novel.


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