1. “Did you see more glass?”
“Pussycat, stop saying that. It’s driving Mommy absolutely crazy.”
This exchange between Sybil and her mother, which appears about halfway through the story, is an example of how difficult clear communication is for the characters in the story. While Sybil is referring to Seymour Glass, Mrs. Carpenter hears “see more glass” and thinks Sybil is being silly. Mother and daughter are speaking different languages—Seymour Glass is a figure who exists solely in Sybil’s world of childhood, whereas the phonetic interpretation, “see more glass,” is Mrs. Carpenter’s adult take on the phrase. This exchange also reveals Sybil as an outsider in her mother’s adult world, just as Seymour is. This exchange is markedly different from the conversations between Sybil and Seymour. Seymour, unlike Mrs. Carpenter, understands Sybil and is kind and patient with her—in a way, he speaks the language of childhood.