Critical Lens Essay

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When going through a rough patch in life, someone may notice and come to terms with things about themselves that they didn’t come to grips with before. In other words, “In times of adversity or hardship, one’s true character is revealed.” In Ellen Foster, a book about a young foster child by Kaye Gibbons, Ellen faces many challenges. These challenges include the suicide of her mother, the abuse and unavoidable death of her father, and rejection from family members which led her to be moved from home to home. In the end, however, she learns that she’s never had “the hardest row to hoe” and proves that she is a survivor.

I agree with this quote because of the major relevance it has in fictional Ellen’s life. Ellen is characterized as a lonely young girl. For example, Ellen’s first words in the book were; “When I was little I used to think of ways to kill my daddy.” Her father was an alcoholic, racist, and not to mention cruel and heartless towards Ellen, he was Ellen’s earliest hardship but helped her grow as a person in the end. As a result of her father being so mean, Ellen always strived to be the opposite. Following this trauma, her mother killed herself, most likely because of the father, which in itself is overwhelming and heartbreaking for a 10 year old. During all of this Ellen is always very close friends with a little colored girl named Starletta, as much as Ellen doesn’t want to be like her father, she still can’t help being racist because of her own fathers influence. She may not be able to control who’s child she is or how much she looks like her father, but Ellen eventually learns she can take the way she feels about other people into her own hands. “What you had better worry about though is the people you know and trusted they would be like you because you were all made in the same batch. You need to look over your shoulder at the one who is in charge of holding you up and see if that is a knife he has in his hand. And it might...
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