I Am Not Esther

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An important idea in the novel I am Not Esther by Fleur Beale is the importance of being true to yourself. It is an important idea because it shows how changing who you are for someone else can change you forever. I am Not Esther is a story about Kirby Greenland a typical teenage girl living in New Zealand. Her mother decides it is time for them to go separate ways and she finds herself living with her relatives who belong to a strict religious cult. Throughout the novel we see Kirby’s journey and how she changes as she struggles to find where she belongs and starts to question her identity. Kirby Greenland begins as a typical, mature, confident teenage girl. She lives a happy life with her Mum, Ellen in Auckland. She has no knowledge of any family but enjoys looking after her mum and finds comfort in their close relationship. Suddenly Kirby’s life undergoes a dramatic change. Her mother leaves her and sets off on a journey of her own meanwhile leaving Kirby with her relatives whom she never knew existed. “I held the map on my lap and wished I had a map of her mind as well.” This quote shows how shocked Kirby was that her mother could abandon her and the confusion as to why her mum would leave. This is significant because it is where Kirby’s life starts to change. She realises there is a lot more to her mother than she ever knew and begins to wonder why she would keep secrets from her. Ellen had been such an important part of Kirby's life so when she left Kirby was already confused of what to do. Kirby's relatives, the Pilgrims, belong to a fellowship called the children of the faith. They follow strict rules that would be unthinkable for most teenage girls to live by. Kirby's is given a new, biblical, name. Kirby’s Aunt introduces her to the family as “your new sister Esther”. Kirby replied with “I am not Esther.” This quote shows that Kirby still stays true to herself. She finds it astounding that her relatives are trying to change her. She disagrees with...
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