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A tree, A rock, A cloud written by Carson McCullers is a postmodernism story that deals with disillusionment that has a deep psychological theme of the human element that brings to light that the mind can be intelligent and strong but with a bad event that comes along in someone's life can drive them to real disillusionment.
The story takes place in a diner and the owner, Leo, is the only character whose name is mentioned. McCullers brings in older gentlemen that express his heart and feelings to a young paper boy who is nameless. The man goes through his spill about an event that has his psychological mind set in a warp state. The man tells the boy that "I love you" in their introduction at the diner. Leo, who is serving breakfast and coffee, does not to be seemed too thrilled at the adventurous ways of the man in the way he is exploiting his short but long story that he is presenting to the boy. A disillusionment moment is displayed by McCullers when he writes that the old man says to the young paper boy to "sit down and have a beer with me". This shows that the old man is not in tune with whom he is talking to, knowing good and well that the boy is too young to drink beer and Leo reminds the old gentleman that "he is a minor".
The old man shows the boy some photographs of a woman; then he responds by stating that he has never seen her before. The old man mentions that the woman in the photograph was his wife. Leo seems bothered and annoyed like he has heard this story a million times. This did not stop the old man from telling the story of how he met his wife and giving an account of what took place and the love that he once posses for this woman. The boy is still at the point where he is trying to understand were the old man is talking about. The old man states that his wife and he had been married for one year, nine months, three days, and two nights and the old man states "she left me; I came in one night and the house was empty and she was gone". The boy asked "with a fellow" and the old man immediately comes back and says "why naturally, son. A woman does not run off like that alone." The old man doesn't know this to be true but assumes that if a woman leaves a man she had to have gone with another man. This is McCullers way of showing that the old man's psychological presence is a little out dated and old fashion. As the old man keeps on telling the story about his love for this woman; he goes into detail about the places that he explored to search for her and how for years the feelings started to change. Once the boy ask "what was her name" and the old man states that it is immaterial.
McCullers has this setting, not only in a diner, but has the old man intoxicated with beer in the wee hours of the morning. The old man tells the boy about love and how powerful love can be, but the old man explains how eventually after all the searching it became a time when his thoughts were being filled with blank thoughts. The old man could give an account of when he last saw a piece of broken glass on the sidewalk or a nickel tune in a music box and also a shadow on a wall at night. The old man states that through it all; the searching he could never find the woman but she was chasing him in his soul and how he blames her for his sins. The old man disillusionment of his love for this woman brought him pain and sorrow, but he believed in his own little world that the love that was broken brought him to a state of mind to where he drifted from state to state. The old man truly believes that there is a science to love and there was a logical explanation to the love triangle. The old man states to the young boy that "do you know how love should begun?" the old man states that it is an "A tree. A rock. A cloud."
McCullers concludes in this story and this story comes to a point that no one else was in the diner but the old man, Leo, and the little paperboy. Leo gets angry and tells the old man to shut up. The old man tells them that he can love anything because he has found the science to loving something's but not letting it psychologically empower him anymore. The boy ask the old man have "you ever fallen in love with a woman again?'' he answered "no, Son. You see that's the last steps in my science. I go cautious. And I am not quite ready yet." As the old man was leaving the diner he mention to the young boy "remember I love you" the boy who is still confused ask Leo "was he drunk" and Leo says "no" the boy asked "then was he a dope fiend?" "No" responded Leo. The boy also asks "was he crazy? Do you think he was a lunatic?" Leo has no response so the boy mentions "he sure has done a lot of traveling."
McCullers brings emotion in a psychological perspective to show how love can come and go, but the effects of loving could have an everlasting effect on how a person can view the world. A mind can be powerful but yet so delicate and fragile that one experience could have a person traveling down a dark road. It. was pointed out in so many ways in this story of a man who loved but was destroyed by love and now he is driven to a state of disillusionment that he feels he can control love but yet he is alone and seeking love in all the wrong things.