EXPLORING “TOWANDA’S” IMPACT ON THE LIFE OF EVELYN COUCH
South University Online
Exploring “Towanda’s” impact on the life of Evelyn Couch
Through a psychoanalytical lens, Flagg’s novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café examines the evolution of the alter-ego “Towanda” within the life of the character Evelyn. Evelyn develops this name through her encounter with Ninny Threadgoode, an elderly woman whom she befriends at a nursing home, and the many stories of different people from her childhood. Evelyn develops an interest in Ninny’s stories and begins to visit her regularly. Sickened with various unfortunate events such as her weight problem, her junk food habits, the abuse from punks at the supermarket store, her neglectful husband Ed Couch, and the classes that require her to do silly things like look at her vagina in a hand mirror, Evelyn’s friendship with Ninny blossoms as she listens to Ninny's stories of the two female characters, Ruth and Idgie. The stories inspire her to take charge of her own life, while triggering the inner workings of her imagination. In addition to the psychoanalytic perspective, I will briefly analyze the historical and feminine perspective and how they pertain to the overall framework of Evelyn’s character within the novel.
Evelyn had been battling with several issues including her eating habits, her husband’s neglect, and his disapproval of her diet. Through her multiple conversations with her friend Ninny Threadgoode at the nursing home, she began to make life altering changes. One in particular was her diet. Evelyn loved sweets. When she would visit her friend she would be seen with sweet cakes, pies, ice-cream and candy bars. At home it was the same bad food choices which prevented her from losing weight and her husband would often make sarcastic comments on her choice of food. She wanted to make a conscious effort to change her eating habits because she was on a roller-coaster ride with her...