Pieces of Herself by Juliet Davis is a collection of memories of a woman. Her name seems to be Tracy, and her daily activities take place in the shower room, the bedroom, outside, the kitchen, the living room, the office, and the main street.
When you move your mouse, you can see words or hear voice records. In the bathroom, the heroine experienced a heartbreak. She wished her love could last forever but her boyfriend betrayed her. A woman says, “remember to wash your hands” when you move to the trash can. That was what my mom told me when I was young. In the toilet bowl, there are fertilized egg growing, indicating that women have the ability to bear children. But menstruation does not make a girl become a woman. The ability to give birth never identifies a woman. After clicking the water in the vanity sink, the dripping sound never stops.
When you enter the bedroom, you will hear some phone messages from her boyfriend, mom, and her friend. This women is not answering any phone calls. She’s sleeping with thunder roaring and frog chatting. In her computer screen shows the same web page. She wonders if the world is true or it is just a dream. For this part I can understand her very much. Sometimes I just stay alone and do not answer any messages from others. I need to think about everything once for a while. (It turns out that Tracy is missing, her photo is on a poster beside the police car in the main street)
Once you go outside, it will be much noisier. The world is filled with other people’s voices, the birds sing, cars roar, children laughing… The dripping sound and the frog sound are still there. But the question is: can she really go outside? Can we really go outside? Can we really break free? Can we really think out of the box? Can we really stop thinking about ourselves and look outside? By “outside” I mean both physical and mental.
The kitchen is filled with her memory of her mom. Those fertilized eggs appear again, as if they are suggesting that cooking is women’s job. When you click on the bowl of milk beside the microwave, you can hear something falling into the water, like someone diving into the water, and the woman says that she will become skinny again. My mom always said that becoming a mom makes a woman fat. My dad would not help with the laundry because he thought it was women’s job. Does a job defines a woman? Does shape defines a woman?
The living room is filled with money and sex. The woman no longer wishes for perfect love. Instead, money and sex can fake themselves into the sense of love. The living room is a place for the reality. It is totally different from the bedroom, where dreams are hidden under the pillow. The reality is more rational, and more cruel.
The office is a strange place. A man says “welcome”, he welcomes everyone who wants this job, including women. Women, like anyone else, have to control their emotions and think about money. While back at home, women are also responsible for housework, which means they have to work both in office and at home. Does the office really welcomes woman?
In the main street, there are mainly two kinds of voices, which are the children’s, and the adults. The little girl is innocent, who cannot think of any dangerous people. But as you move the mouse, an ambulance car sends patients into the emergency room. Not far away from there, a group of teenagers are explaining the reasons why they do not hand in their homework. They have too many other things to worry about. In DQ, a woman says that people are concerned about how other people conceive them. There are people die and people born every minute. As we grow older, we start to think more, and worry more. What will that little girl become when she grow up? Will she think about the same things as the teenagers and the DQ woman do?
Pieces of herself, pieces of her memories, pieces of her life. She is alive, who is stronger than a symbol or a noun.