Rebecca Wells paints a picture of the various roles that women often must encounter in their lives: mother, daughter, friend. As said by Charlotte Observer "She [Wells] speaks eloquently to what it means to be a mother, a daughter, a wife-and somehow, at last, a person." Wells uses a captivating style to create a simple plot, memorable symbolism and a reoccurring theme of friendship. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood teaches about the importance of giving and receiving love and finding joy in everyday life.
The simplistic plot of the novel and the overall theme of love allows the author to span the lives of the main characters. The reader sees the span of the life of two of the main characters, Sidda and her mother Vivi, as they struggle to love each other based on their own childhood experiences. The reader also sees our two main characters in parallel encountering love and affairs of the heart; yet the most powerful love throughout the book is the love of four friends who stick together through the good and the bad. Vivi loves the Ya-Ya's; as adolescents they are looking for love and someone to look up to. Vivi didn't know how to love Sidda because Vivi's mother didn't know how to love her; therefore, Sidda doesn't know how to love Connor because she has never experienced love and is now afraid to be in love. The simplicity of the novel is that everyone is always looking to be loved. The simplicity is that in real life people are always searching to be loved, or finding love. Near the beginning of the novel when the ya-ya's are in their adolescence as young girls, going through the normal obstacles of childhood- fighting with their parents, getting into mischief, smoking and breaking curfew- they realize that by sticking together they can get through anything. They formalize this bond with a ceremony early on, "I am a member of the royal and true tribe of the Ya-Ya's
I do solemnly swear to be loyal sister Ya-Ya's, and to love and look out for them, and never forsake them through thick and thin, until I take my last human breath" (Wells 71). Wells shows the reader that the inability to show love can be passed down through generations: Sidda expresses to Connor why she is afraid to marry him, "She [Vivi] didn't know how to love me, so I don't know how to love you" (Wells 284). Sidda is saying that her mother couldn't love her, therefore she is afraid that Connor wouldn't love her even though it is a different relationship from Sidda and Vivi's relationship. In the end, the love between Connor and Sidda wins over the other tragedies in Sidda's life. An important development in the plot that proves that love can conquer all appears when Vivi's mother sends her away against her own will to a decollate boarding school away from her friends and family. While away, Vivi stops eating and becomes very depressed, but her friends continue to write to her and look for a way to bring her home. In the end their love wins out and they are able to convince one of their parents(Genevieve) to rescue her and bring her home. QUOTE Love, even in the smallest form, can sustain through tragedy and triumph-the bonds of the ya-ya's : Vivi, Necie, Caro and Teensy. The story line allows the character to triumph over tragedy and rejoice in love,-simple stories-no matter how impossible they feel it is at the time.
Through the course of the novel, Wells uses the strong symbol of the alligator to represent hurtful, dangerous and painful things in the world. Vivi talks to Sidda as a young child warning her about the importance of doing as she was told in order to avoid the dangerous things in life. "Even I can't save you from all the alligators in the world
so don't push your luck"(Wells 32). As Sidda gets older and becomes stronger, her mother tries to tell her that now, as you are getting older, you will take risks. You will get into trouble as part of the growing experience, and I will be there to help you. "I will...
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