Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
The other film students at New York University are all men, and neither they nor the professor say a word to Molly when she shows her film of Carrie talking about her life. She graduates with academic honors, yet the film companies, even the underground filmmakers, stereotype her as someone who could only be hired as a secretary or in some other traditionally female capacity. Molly notes that there is a new women’s movement beginning to protest such patriarchal attitudes, but she knows that some of those same women would expel her from the movement for being a lesbian. She does stay in New York, however, and remains determined to make movies her way.
Coffee Hollow. Molly’s childhood home. She describes it as “a rural dot outside of York, Pennsylvania.” York is mentioned again when Molly, age twenty-four, returns to the area for a brief visit. Her childhood friend and first love, Leota, is now conventionally married to a local body-shop owner, pretending to herself to be happy with him and her children. Leota claims not to remember her time with Molly, yet even as she denounces Molly’s life as perverted and sick, she clearly envies her.
Although there is some love and support, especially from Molly’s sad and defeated stepfather Carl, the dominant image of the Coffee Hollow area, representative of small-town America, is that of closed-minded busybodies intolerant of anyone different from them.
*Florida. Molly’s and her cousin Leroy’s families move from Coffee Hollow to Ft. Lauderdale to escape poverty but find little economic improvement there. Molly is bright and figures out that the wealthier students who control the social scene will like her if she is bold and witty and makes them laugh. She goes to the University of Florida because it offers her the largest scholarship, but she is expelled because of a sexual relationship with her roommate, Faye. Her roommate disappears, leaving a note saying that she lacks Molly’s courage and must acquiesce to the rigid wishes of her parents.
Six years later, when Molly returns to Florida to make a film of her mother for her senior project, Carrie denies that she ever refused to take Molly in after she was expelled from the university. Molly also sees Leroy, who has begun an affair with a gay man but is now somewhat resigned to being married. He confides that he dreams of getting away, maybe to get a job as a crew member and sail around the world.