Mary and Max

Beth Ngunjiri Ngunjiri 1
ENG 101-46, QCC

“Mary and Max”

The extent to which an individual obtains a sense of belonging is determined by their perception
of the relationships and culture around them. Through Adam Elliot’s film ‘Mary and Max’, the
idea that the way in which the characters look and act becomes almost as important as the ideas
they communicate.

Mary Daisy Dinkle is eight years, tree months and nine days old when the story begins in
1976. She has the eyes of muddy puddles and a birthmark on her forehead ‘the color of poo’.
She lives with her parents in the brown world of Mount Waverly, one of the suburbs of
Melbourne, Australia. Mary’s father, Noel Norman Dinkle, works in a teabag factory and spends
his spare time practicing amateur taxidermy. Her mother, Lorraine Dinkle, is a shop lifter, and is
addicted to Auntie Joan’s Cooking Sherry, which causes her to always look ‘wobbly’ to Mary.

Max Jerry Horowitz is a 44-year- old atheistic Jew with Asperger’s Syndrome. He
weighs 352 pounds, is as ’as tall as a six foot tree’, and lives with three snails, a parrot, a one-
eyed cat and a regularly-replaced gold fish in the grey world of New York City. Max goes to an
Overeaters Anonymous class which has no effect on his obesity, and regularly visits a
psychiatrist-come-aerobics instructor named Dr. Bernard Hazelhof.

Ngunjiri 2

The two first connect when Mary impulsively tears a page out of a Manhattan phone
book while visiting the post office. Putting pen to paper, she pours out her heart to the complete
stranger Max whose name she chooses by random. A surprised Max replies astonished that
anyone should care about him. He sits before his ancient typewriter and pounds out his lengthy
missive to Mary. Before long they have bonded, sharing secrets, bizzare forms of chocolate and
anything else they stick inside the envelope package. In a perverse and often immature way, it...