The self-awareness in Annie John
This novel “Annie John” is mainly discussing the process of Annie’s self-awareness from her age from ten to sixteen, which is a process from not knowing to knowing. The narrator is very concentrated in how Annie gradually realizes that she is a separate self, by depicting the change of her relationship with her mother. At first Annie wants to be unified with her mother, but with his maturity and the emergence of self-identity, her relationship with her mother finally breaks down and Annie plans to leave the island. Undoubtedly, this is the result of growing-up, and more importantly, it is a reborn. Annie becomes a separate self, but also paradoxically a brand new person. The novel is started with Annie’s obsession with death. Like many kids in school, her obsession with death is mainly based on fear and curiosity. “At school, almost everyone I knew had seen a dead person, and not a spirit of a dead person but a real dead person. The girl who sat at the desk next to mine suddenly stopped sucking her thumb because her mother had washed it in water in which a dead person had been given a bath.” There seems to be a spiritual belief that people are possible to be hurt by death body and this belief leads to Annie’s fear. People feel haunted by the death. However, as for the death of the hunchback girl, Annie shows her curiosity to some extent – as mentioned in the novel, “on hearing that she was dead, I wished I had tapped the hump to see if it was hollow.” This humorous tone is also revealed in this passage,” When I looked at this girl, it was as if the View-Master wasn’t working properly.” Annie realizes how dead people are viewed and treated – they are not able to react so they can simply bear all the changes that occur in the circumstance. To some extent, the image of the dead people is distorted. This ambiguous emotion towards the death can be considered as the start of Annie’s exploration toward the humanity and the existence...
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