Spoiled Children of Divorce


The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds
February 7, 2008, 11:06 pm
Filed under: Plays about growing up in Divorce

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds is a play by Paul Zindel.  I saw this when I was in High School and from what I remember it’s a total fright flick about power tripping between Mothers and Daughters and Sisters.  The Mother also happens to be single. It was made into a TV movie starring Joanne Woodward. I remember I saw it while my Mother was out on a Date.  She had moved the TV into her bedroom and kept it on all the time because she had to surround herself with noise.  As I’ve said before she had drinking and mental problems and was having severe panic attacks during the time in addition.  So I was sitting on the bed while she was getting dressed and made up for a date and walked out as the movie started.  I sort of remember Joanne Woodward’s hair being ratted out like Medusa while her daughters sat in reaction to her bizarre behaviors. I remember the light bulb going on about all my fears about absorbing my parents’ problems and feelings of determination not to be trapped by them came from this movie.  I guess it helped me get through High School.  I succumbed later on in College. The apple never falls very far from the tree.

This is a story about the craziness of growing up in a single parent household and the inexplicable way that some kids will grow healthfully out of the environment while others will succumb to the pressures. Anything with Joanne Woodward has got to be great.  She hasn’t really acted in all that many movies but she’s always awesome.  I wonder if they still play that movie on TV.

According to Wikipedia, Paul Zindel’s parents were divorced and he lived with his Mother.  Most of his books and plays apparently included the theme of Divorce.


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