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Personality in Where the Heart Is Essay


Personality rules over Image in Where the Heart Is.

The novel where the heart is, by Billie Lettes. Is a story about a young seventeen year old girl named Novalee Nation, who is pregnant. She gets deserted at Wal-mart by her dirty, poor, scruffy boyfriend Willy Jack. Then she has to restart her life in Oklahoma. She finds Sister Husband, an older woman with blue hair, (Appositive Phrase) that teaches others about the bible. After she meets Sister she runs into a young ten year old Indian boy named Benny Goodluck. Then there is the librarian, a nice, clean, intelligent man named Forney. Novalee later in the novel has a beautiful baby named Americus. Eventually she falls in love, becomes a famous photographer and starts a wonderful life with her and her baby. This novel suggests that stereotypes are made by image and broken by personality.

First, the author uses setting to show stereotypes are made by image and broken by personality. First of all, Novalee is living in Wal-mart, an odd place to live. But as she continues to stay there it occurs to her that even though its not a real place to live, it is her first and only home. In the beginning of this novel Novalee is in the car talking to Willy Jack, in the Wal-mart parking lot. I need some money to buy some house shoes. (Infinitive Phrase) Five dollars will be enough. (13) There at Wal-mart and thats were Novalee ends up living. Wal-mart is stereotypical because of its cheap prices there and so people that dont have a lot of money shop there. Secondly, the library is stereotypical because thats usually were the people who want to learn go. But it became her home and she started reading a lot and her knowledge expanded in very little time. Earlier on in the book, Novalee is talking to Forney in the library (Prepositional Phrase) during the night time. Where the candles glowed on thick marble and polished wood and where roses laid in delicate vases. Forney you made the place look so beautiful, its the best birthday party I have ever had. (74) This setting is the only place Novalee went everyday besides Wal-mart. It was her second home and she loved it there, she loved the smell, the feeling, the books, but most of all she loved Forney. Thirdly, Sister Husbands trailer is Novalees first real home. Thats not like the Wal-mart. Its a trailer but its still home. Because it was a place for her to live, (Adverb Clause) she never cared about what it looked like. Towards the end of the novel, Novalee is talking to Ray, who is giving her sisters will, after the tornado. Standing in the wreck, (Participial Phrase) Novalee remembered all the good times she and Sister have had in that trailer. Ill be staying here. Staying home. After all home is where your history begins. (252) It is her home after Wal-mart, where she was loved and where here history began. Its where everything happened to her, the tornado, the kidnapping. Where she found love and where her history was.

In the meantime, the author uses symbolism to show stereotypes are made by image but broken by personality. Surely, the buckeye tree was an ugly tree at first but after some love and care(Coordinating Conjunction Words) it grew up to be big and strong. In the early stages of this novel, Benny Goodluck is talking to Novalee in the parking lot of Wal-mart on the day Willy Jack left her. Here take this buckeye tree. Its good luck. I know because my grandpa told me. This was his grandpas, then his. And now its mine. (27) The tree gives her good luck in the future and helps her get through the hard times in her life. She finds a home and a family. She gets a job all after she gets the tree so thats a symbol of good luck. (Coordinating Conjunction Clause) In fact, the number seven is usually good luck for other people but for Novalee its bad luck. Everyone always thinks that seven brings joy, and happiness and that no one should be scared of it. But thats not the case for Novalee. In the very beginning of this book, Novalee is in the car talking to Willy Jack on their way to California. I dont like sevens because on my seventh birthday momma Nell ran away and then in the seventh grade my only friend, Rhonda Talley, stole an ice cream truck and got sent to the Tennessee State School for girls in Tullahoma. (3) Symbolism shows that the number seven is a bad luck charm for her. Her life changes when it has a seven in it, but where there is a seven there is bad luck lurking around Novalee. After all, reading books make you more intelligent. Before Novalee started reading she was known for not being the brightest bulb in the lighthouse. Novalee started reading complicated books after her 17th birthday but before she went to college. (Coordinating Conjunction Phrase) But afterwards she became bright and with a book in her hands she looked brilliant. In the middle of this novel Novalee is talking to Momma Nell, who deserted her at a young age, (Adjective Clause) but came back to the hospital for money that Novalee had. After Novalee just had her baby in the Wal-mart. Any women on her way to New Orleans cant have to many Lamentations. (106) She reads a lot of books so her vocabulary is stronger. Books are a symbol of intelligents and it helps her become who she is and to help her get a job.

For instance, the author uses irony to show stereotypes are made by image but broken by personality. Eventually, Willy Jack is in jail and people who are in jail means that they have done a crime. But he didnt do the crime that he is doing time for. In the middle of the book Claire Hudson, the jail librarian, is talking to Willy Jack in the jail library. You look exactly like my son Finny; he was killed 22 years ago, about the time you were born. (127) Irony is used because her son died around the time he was born so her son could have been reincarnated. It makes Claire really relate to Willy Jack and help him out. In time, Willy Jack and Jolene get arrested but Jolene talks her self out of jail. In doing so she pins it all on Willy Jack. This is stereotypical because the police believe the women from in town. Instead of the scruffy, dirty man from out of town. Later on in the beginning of this novel. Talking to Willy Jack in his car (Gerund Phrase) is Jolene, a young girl thats running away from home. Ill be dammed if I get arrested for kidnapping. (49) This is ironic because he then does get arrested, a few minutes later, right after he said that. He gets arrested for kidnapping and for robbing a gas station, which is very ironic because he just said there was no way that could happen. All in all, Novalee doesnt want to be pregnant again because then she will feel used if Troy got her pregnant. It is stereotypical in a way that if youre pregnant and under age youre known for an irresponsible adult and people think bad things about you. But if youre the appropriate age your fine to have a baby and people are happy for you. During the beginning of the book, Novalee is in the trailer at night time talking to Sister after she just got back from Troys house, who was her boyfriend at the time. Im never fornicating with another man again Sister, Ive had enough. (58) She does fornicate again at the end of the novel and with Forney. She doesnt want another baby, yet she doesnt think about that when she is with Forney.

In conclusion, this novel represents setting, symbolism, and irony extremely well. This book tells us the real impact on people that have nothing and the impact on pregnant teenagers. Thats why this book shows good relation to people who get judged. So the next time somebody is about to judge someone on there appearance, dont. Take time to know them first then that person can make assumptions.

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