Lullabies for Little Criminals

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Overcoming Obstacles in Lullabies for Little Criminals

Nicole Salloum

The definition of perseverance is “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty of delay in achieving success” (28.April.2012). Growing up with a drug addict father and no real home, a child would need to have a lot of perseverance to just survive. In Heather O’Neill’s novel Lullabies for Little Criminals the main character, Baby, proves that despite hardships, she is able to overcome obstacles and adversity and learn something about life. One of Baby’s obstacles is that her father, Jules, creates an unstable living environment for Baby because of his inexperience in parenting and his constant drug abuse. However because of Jules, she learns how to take care of herself which leads to her learning life lessons. Secondly, due to Baby’s neglected upbringing she is very much affected by other children including Xavier, Zoe and Theo who each teach her something different about herself and the world. Lastly, the presence of Alphonse in Baby’s life causes many hardships like physical abuse and prostitution that she is forced to deal with at a very young age. Despite these obstacles, Baby manages to use the experiences to help her grow into the person she is today.

Baby’s father Jules has raised her in a very deprived environment. Ultimately, this has made obstacles for Baby which she manages to overcome and learn from. One of the most drastic examples of Baby’s hardships is Jules being arrested for possession of heroin outside of their apartment building. Baby tries to reach him but is hit by a car as she crosses the street, without Jules even realizing. It was in this moment that Baby realizes Jules needed more care than she did, “I ran across the street to get to Jules and to try and save him” (O’Neill, 56). Nevertheless she still needs a parent figure, but manages to cope without any help. Later on, instead of serving time in jail, Jules makes the decision to go to rehab. Baby is...
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