' Sense Of Belonging In Kingsolver's Animal Dreams

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There are many questions that make a person think differently, such as why some people “engage with the world and its problems, while others turn their backs on it” (Kingsolver). Kingsolver addresses the issue of a sense of purpose in an interview and also weaves it into her novel, Animal Dreams, where it becomes one of the pivotal subjects. Kingsolver further enhances that subject by paralleling it with the topic of sense of belonging. The author combines and embodies the following topics through Codi the protagonist: the sense of belonging and sense of purpose, to create the following theme; once there is a sense of belonging, one can then find a sense of purpose and lead a satisfying life. Kingsolver helps the reader explore this theme through …show more content…
From her mother’s death, her emotionally unavailable father, and later her miscarriage, shows why the search for her own identity is stunted (Lee Ann De Reus). As she arrives in her hometown of Grace, memories return of her “childhood as an outsider” start to bring back memories of unacceptance (Kingsolver 30). Because of her mother’s death her father had felt his daughter’s “had been too far away to touch” making him unable to emotionally connect, therefore not being able to care for Codi or Hallie the way they needed (Kingsolver 141). Codi blames her father for her being an outcast and believes he made everyone think that she was “above [them all] in Grace” since he had also been rejected in the community and his family was considered “trash” (Kingsolver 259). Doc homer tried to make a new name for himself in his town of Grace by becoming a doctor, but only brings “every mistake he ever made” on to Codi (Kingsolver 170). As Codi grows up she tries to become everything Doc homer isn’t. The author shows us the inverse relationship they have through Codi’s regaining memory from the time of her miscarriage at sixteen, and her father’s memory loss due to …show more content…
Codi had always thought of her and Hallie as opposites, “it was…simple… [I was] looking for life, while Hallie was living it” but as she regains memory and starts to have connections with people like Loyd and later the women of the Stich and Bitch club she begins to find purpose (Kingsolver 224). In the beginning of the book Codi says she doesn’t believe in moving mountains, this metaphor ties back to the actual Black Mountain Company who is polluting the water supply in Grace and explains the importance of taking responsibility of the earth, not just for yourself, but for everyone else as well. She finds this sense of purpose for exterminating the Mine the strongest when Hallie is captured and taken prisoner in

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