JP: It seems that Marcus, his sister and his war-bound brother are all destined for fates similar to that of the first generation. Is there any hope that they might escape the cycle of abuse?
John Duncan Talbird: Family patterns can be pernicious. They work on us subconsciously and we usually don’t realize that we have choices in the matter until we’re already on a barreling pathway toward repeating the mistakes of the previous generation and reenacting all of their bullshit. But there’s always hope. Otherwise, every alcoholic would give birth to drunks, every abuser bring up future abusers.
In “Girls,” we really know nothing about the baby girl or the brother going to war except that they have oddly similar characteristics to the baby girl and the warrior from the previous generation. I feel hopeful for Marcus, though. The narrator, his mother, is telling this story to him and I feel that his fate is tied up in whether he reads her with irony or with dead seriousness. If it’s the latter, he’s doomed. But if he can realize that the story she thinks she’s telling isn’t the same as the story she’s actually telling then he might stand a chance.