Ellen Foster’s author, Kaye Gibbons, was born in 1960 in Nash County, North Carolina. She attended UNC Chapel Hill and majored in English there. During Gibbons early life her mother commited suicide, which dissolved family relations. She bounced from foster home to foster home after this. Even after a rough childhood she became a successful author winning awards for her novels. She wrote Ellen Foster based on her childhood. Gibbons made this novel with a deceptively simple syntax, realistic diction, and a moving and determined tone.
The overall syntax of Ellen Foster is easily understood. The story is told by Ellen, a young girl. When she is thinking of art to draw she ponders, “Maybe some cats or a covered bridge. I can do both. I learned how out of a library book.” The story is narrated by a child, so, it is narrated how a child would speak, with small choppy sentences. The tricky part of syntax is whenever a character speaks in Ellen Foster there is no quotations to indicate somebody is speaking like, “She would catch me snooping around sometimes and say to me I’ll break your little hand if you that vase! Not joking but serious to make me think of how a broke hand might feel.” Gibbons uses this syntax method to make the reader feel as if Ellen is telling you story as if she was right in front of you.
Gibbons writes Ellen Foster in a diction that is appropriate for the setting of this book. The characters are portrayed well with the slang they use, “Then she said what the boss lady is up to is her business… They is no sense in a white working in this heat. I can hardly stands it on my own hot self.” Through out this book blacks are discriminated against. Most of them have a very minimal education which is accurate for the setting of this book.
Ellen’s life is faced with many hardships, her mother committed suicide, an abusive father’s death, and her having to grow up as a orphan; jumping from foster home to foster home. These challenges made her a very...
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