Kaye Gibbons' experiences as a child are the foundations for this
breathtaking saga of a young girl's tragic memories of her childhood. As with
Ellen, Gibbons' parents both died before she was twelve-years-old forming the
basis of the plot and themes of this novel. The fond memories she possessed of her mother and the harsh ones of her father are reflected in the thoughts and
actions of Ellen. The simplistic and humble attitude that both Gibbons and
Ellen epitomize in the novel is portrayed through diction and dialogue
throughout the novel allows the audience to gain a better understanding and
personal compassion for both the character and author.
The novel is written in a short, choppy sentence structure using simple
word choice, or diction, in a stream of consciousness to enable the reader to
perceive the novel in the rational of an eleven-year-old girl. One short, simple sentence is followed by another , relating each in an easy flow of thoughts. Gibbons allows this stream of thoughts to again emphasize the childish perception of life's greatest tragedies. For example, Gibbons uses the simple diction and stream of consciousness as Ellen searches herself for the true person she...