Gail Anderson-Dargatz’s masterpiece, The Cure for Death by Lightning, recounts the story of Beth Weeks, a fifteen-year-old living on a farm near a reserve. Throughout the story, Beth has to endure different kinds of ill-treatment as well as an invisible predator who seems to be following her. Through her struggle, the author reveals that a character, despite being abused, and having to live in difficult conditions can evolve into a mature and responsible young woman. Beth’s encounters, as well as her choices throughout the novel, help her overcome her difficult situation and put a stop to the abuse she’s going through.
Firstly, some encounters Beth has in the story help her surmount the difficult conditions she lives in. Specifically, her encounter with Nora makes her more determined and more inclined to stand up for what she wants. The following extract illustrates that rather clearly: “I’m going to see Nora tomorrow,” I said. “While Dad’s out in the field. He doesn’t have to know.” “You’ll stay here,” she [her mother] said. “I need your help.” “I’ll do the work and then I’ll go. You can tell him or not. I’ll leave after he’s gone out for lunch and come back before supper.” “You will not leave this house.”
“What are you going to do to stop me?” (Page 162)
It is important to note that Beth is informing her mother of her plans and not seeking out her permission. Following their encounter, Beth and Nora’s relationship evolved into a very intimate friendship that means a lot to Beth. As a result, Beth is more determined to stand up to her parents to maintain that friendship. She decides to fight for what she wants rather than bow her head and obey without protest. That builds up her strength of character and make her stronger when faced with other conflicts. By the same token, Beth’s encounter with Nora make her less of a follower and more of a participant. Indeed, Beth, who is someone who doesn’t mingle much, is brought out of her shell thanks to Nora. In...
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