i am not esther

Topics: Character, Esther, Uncle Tom's Cabin Pages: 2 (564 words) Published: April 3, 2014


Describe a conflict/challenge faced by a character in the novel. Explain why the conflict/challenge is important.

Fleur Beale effectively creates conflict between her two main characters 14 year old Kirby Pilgrim and her Uncle Caleb in the novel I Am Not Esther by throwing together two contrasting characters. This conflict is important because it introduces new characters to the plot, develops relationships, creates suspense, and reveals the themes identity crisis and rebellion.

When Kirby’s mother, without much notice leaves Kirby in the care of her Uncle Caleb, leader of a cult and takes off to Africa Kirby’s world is turned upside down. At the first meeting Uncle Caleb introduces Kirby as Esther. “ I am not Esther” Kirby repeated in protest, “I’m Kirby” But he insisted that she would have to use her new name as all the women of their faith had Biblical names. Kirby was used to dyeing her hair red and green for Christmas but now Uncle Caleb made her tie her hair in a braid and wear a headscarf in public. In protest Kirby hacked her hair with a kitchen knife. He also made her abandon her jeans and T-shirt and for a Long blue skirt, white loose blouse done up to the neck and up to the wrists, big white apron, laced up shoes and underwear ‘big enough to hide a cow’. Kirby who was loathe to give up her jeans objected by saying, “I’m allergic to skirts.” Besides these impositions there was no TV or radio at the cult and no books to read but for the Bible as they ‘kept their thoughts turned to the lord. Also she had to use formal language and obey the rules of the cult without question as the women of the cult always put themselves in the background. When Kirby tried to assert herself Uncle Caleb locked her in the prayer room where she remained isolated until such time Uncle Caleb released her.

This conflict is important because it introduces new characters like Daniel and Maggie...
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