Last week, I discussed the progression and change Ruth developed over five years. Today, a brief foray into Claire – brief because I have a difficult time with Claire. Of all the women on Six Feet Under, Claire should be the one easiest to relate to, for me.
Claire’s the youngest of the family, significantly younger than her brothers. One would imagine this would make her more noticeable, but right from the beginning it’s clear that Claire feels invisible and that her family really does consider her an afterthought most of the time. Part of this is truth and part of it is teenage, artsy angst.
The death of her father has left Claire confused and angry and unable to deal on a conscious level. What she does instead is end up dating a series of messed-up guys, perhaps in some strange way hoping to “fix” them, or…maybe even because being around people more messed up than she is herself is comfort she needs.
Along with this, Claire discovers people believe she’s an artist. I say it this way, because at first Claire goes through the motions with this endeavor, but I don’t think she IS an artist at first. She does it because others think she should, and she’s successful for a while. It’s not real and it doesn’t last. She drops out of school and starts living with the most messed-up guy in her long line of messed-up guys and in doing so has a falling out with Ruth, who sees Claire giving up the dream much in the way she herself did.
So Claire drifts in this limbo, aimless and relatively pointless. Frankly, by the end of the fifth season I didn’t see much hope for her at all…but then in true TV fashion, things change for the better despite the fact her oldest brother dies rather suddenly. For her, it’s a changing point. She’s messed up beyond belief, but at the same time has doors opened for her she can’t NOT go through. She offers to stay, to help her mother through her grief, but in the end doesn’t. Her mother “won’t let her,” but ultimately it’s Claire’s decision to journey away from all she knows.
Much like Ruth at the end of the series, we see Claire on the verge of something great – discovering herself, as an artist and, too, as a woman.
Posts in this Series
- Six Feet Under: Ruth
- Six Feet Under: Claire