April Raintree Comparative Essay
As we live our lives, the things we see, hear, say and do, all have an impact on what we become. We are constantly changing; our experiences and the people we meet shape our identities. In the novel April Raintree by Beatrice Culleton, April’s mother figures all had a significant part in shaping her personal identity. The mother figures in April’s life were her real mother (Mrs. Raintree), Mrs. DeRosier and Mrs. Dion. Mrs. Raintree and Mrs. DeRosier had negative influences upon April’s personal identity causing her to be ashamed of being Metis. On the other hand, Mrs. Dion had a positive impact upon April helping her to realize that her life had a purpose.
Mrs. Raintree and Mrs. DeRosier were two mother figures that had a negative influence on April’s identity. Mrs. Raintree was an alcoholic and had parties that became violent. “It seemed to me that after the welfare cheque days, came the medicine days.” Pg. 2. This quote indicates that the money that was meant to be spent to help April’s family was wasted on alcohol. April’s mother neglected both April and Cheryl because of drinking. This shapes April into becoming more independent by having to take care of herself and Cheryl. April’s mother is a cause of why the girls were taken away to foster homes. April ends up being separated from Cheryl when she goes to live with the DeRosiers. Mrs. Derosier is a racist and is cruel to April. “Mrs. DeRosier had said, ‘…you half-breeds’”. Pg. 26. Mrs. DeRosier neglected April except for when she was needed to do chores. April was treated like a servant at the DeRosier’s household. Mrs. DeRosier would leave with her children and leave April to do all the chores. “She left me instructions to wash the floors and clean the bathroom after I finished the breakfast dishes.” Pg. 29. Both April’s mother and Mrs. DeRosier helped shape April into being ashamed of being Metis. She learned to hide her true feelings. With these two mother...
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