Priscilla’s Denial

Kushner hits the “coping” mechanism hard in “Homebody/Kabul”. This is most obvious through the interactions between both Priscilla and Khwaja. Toward the end of Act 1 Scene 5, the conversation between the two gets heavy, at least a lot heavier than it was before. Khwaja reveals a bit about his past, stating the crimes he’s committed and a juxtaposition of thoughts/feelings about his crimes. He learn that he misses his family very much and have obvious regrets about his past decisions. Through his statements about his past, we see that he’s looked at his crimes and the consequences of his crimes from every angle; it’s obvious that he has coped with his crime since he is so open about them with a complete stranger.
Priscilla on the other hand is not quite at that stage in her grief.  Her wounds are fresh, and she’s learning how to cope with them. Priscilla’s relationship with her mother is not revealed to us this early on in the novel (Act 1), but we can imagine at least for a moment how she feels since losing her mother. The conversation between her and Khwaja (pg. 60) reveals her state of denial.

“I can’t believe this day. It’s as if there’s more room suddenly, and air to breath. Something snapped, or sprung loose. I can’t tell you how uncharacteristic this is. Me, trudging about, She really would be surprised. It’s wicked to…enjoy this view, I should be back in the hotel room grieving  but….I’ve done that. Years of that. Still…she’s dead. And considering what it’s a view of. It’s wicked. If she was dead there’d be her body. You can’t lose her body” (pg. 60)

We don’t know yet how she and her mother functioned. The statement “Years of that”(grieving) makes me think that they had somewhat of a broken relationship, but I can’t be sure at this point. Either way, Priscilla does not want to accept the fact that her mother is dead. Is her mother actually dead? I don’t know for sure, but at this point in the play it’s all I can assume. It’s interesting that Kushner paired these two characters together who are so different in their stages of grieving.


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