“He walked over to his bed and pulled his mother’s journal from under his pillow. He had taken to sleeping with it there after Jagua Rigogo had suggested that it was the perfect way to contact her spirit in his dreams. It hadn’t worked so far, but it had brought him comfort to have it within reach” (p. 46).
In this quote, Elvis is getting ready for work and grabbing books that he wishes to read on his travels. The mention of his mother’s journal is a crucial one; through mentioning that he sleeps with the journal close to him, it shows that Elvis still relies on his mother to “bring him comfort” (p.46) even after her death. The reason why Elvis relies on his mother’s journal is because he no longer has a parental figure that provides the love, care, and support that he needs in growing up.
Since his mother has passed away, Elvis’ father has become an alcoholic. Elvis’ father “had always turned to alcohol when life became hard, [but] back in their hometown there had been some dignity to his drinking” (47). Since the loss of Beatrice, Sunday’s drinking has gotten worse. Sunday has been gone for long periods of time drinking, he has remained jobless, and he has not been the father or the role model that Elvis needs to become a man. This has occurred because he is not over the death of his late wife. As a result, the roles are reversed. Elvis takes on the role of the provider of the house and Sunday takes on the role of the jobless child.
This connects to the mother’s journal because Elvis’ only positive family relationship was the relationship with his mother. Comfort explains to Elvis that his father “…want to kill himself with drink” (51) to be with Beatrice in the afterlife. Beatrice is the only thing that connects Elvis to his father and to his past. In reading her journal, Elvis can feel like he is connected to his family once more.