This love and encouragement also gives him the confidence to try new things such as acting and singing in the choir, proving himself to have a great deal of talent. Thus, Magorian shows that both "nature" and "nurture" play a role in shaping a person. Willie does have certain natural traits and skills—such as drawing—that were laying dormant while in the hostile environment of London.
It is Willie's loving home life and community in Weirwold which allow these skills to emerge and give him the space to blossom into his true self. Carrie's mother is reluctant to let her daughter attend high school. What role of women is she perpetuating? In the period that the book is set, women are still for the most part confined to homemaking and non-leadership roles, especially in a small rural village like Weirwold. When Carrie is accepted into the prestigious high school in town, it marks a departure from the traditional role and activities for a young girl in the view of Carrie's mother.
Carrie's mother resents that her daughter is often studying or reading books because she feels that it is "idle" and that her time could be better spent doing household chores.
This new opportunity for Carrie threatens her mother, who still clings onto a certain idea of how women should be. In her own way, she wants the best for her daughter and worries that by focusing all her energy in school, she will never learn how to be a proper domestic woman and wife. The high school also represents a potential for Carrie to enter a new, more wealthy social milieu, one that is a far cry from the country lifestyle.
Any parent desires to shape their child in their own image, which is taken to extreme levels in the case of Willie's mother, and one of the main messages of the book is the importance in giving children freedom to discover themselves and follow their dreams. In one sense, the obvious answer would be that the antagonist to the story is Willie's mother, as she is the abusive parent who has shaped Willie into such a frightened, insecure boy. Yet, the way she is portrayed by Magorian makes it hard to cast her in such a two-dimensional way.
We can infer that Willie's mother has most likely endured the same type of violence that she is now perpetuating towards her son.
She knows nothing else. This does not excuse her actions, but ultimately we are made to see the importance of having compassion for others. As Tom points out to Willie, his mother is a very ill person, who ultimately ends up taking her own life. Even Willie, after everything he has experienced, returns home to his mother in the spirit of forgiveness and compassion, offering her his artwork and kind gestures.
Although she flatly rejects it and ends up abusing Willie in a horrible way, Willie never becomes vengeful or bitter towards what has happened to him. What happened when Zach showed the others how he could tap dance? Whe Zack agreed to dance, Willie became one of the group again All the sudden admiration unnerved him.
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I actually had to hold him forcibly so that the barber could cut his hair. At least he looks like a boy now. Yet she also goes on to argue the case with him, a quarrel overheard by their daughter:. They were shouting now. You hardly spend any time with him at all. There was a long silence. The parallelism is equally clear in an earlier instance, when Rusty is sent to her bedroom for using slang and eating the American — and therefore improper — way.
How interesting. Mrs Dickinson Senior turned to her son.
He said. Since her husband is unable to accept her for the person she has become — i. While her relationship with Rusty is originally awkward, and makes her daughter understandably nostalgic for the emotional security she experienced with the Omsks and their ability to express their feelings by physical contact, Magorian is at pains to make it clear that parting from her was a dreadful experience for Peggy:.
She remembered her, a timid child, bound for America.
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She just wanted her to be safe. All three novels display a combination of pro-change and of pro-tradition characters.
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Mrs Thatcher was still none too keen on Carrie going to the high school but Mr Thatcher was backing her all the way. He had even done some extra labouring so that she could have a proper uniform. Goodnight Neither twin is given explicit authorial approval or disapproval, although Carrie is certainly granted more attention and space in the story The plot allows her to fulfil her ambitions, which might be suggestive of authorial support, but Magorian honestly indicates that there is a price to be paid for success. Besides, the girl experiences the classical double alienation about which many working-class children who succeeded at the eleven plus have testified 22 :.
Two girls on their own? As we have seen, she solves the first half of the problem by learning to cook herself. As for conventions, she is very soon shown to ignore them as she eagerly makes friends with Dot, an unmarried, pregnant young woman. Hilda defies parental authority and social convention by agreeing to go and spend a week with Matthew before he returns to meet his death. Her subsequent pregnancy leads to her being literally incarcerated by her own family, first in a lunatic asylum then in the cottage, her baby having been snatched away from her and the whole thing hushed up.
He wanted to keep me at home to look after the kids and work on his stall. No one could take that away from me. I was so confident that at last I had beaten my family. Honest, Rose. Even so, their reaction is not that fundamentally different. As Rose finds out in the diary, her father has her certified insane:. We hardly slept at all that first night. Overjoyed at lying in bed together, we held hands.
It was such an exquisite sensation that we could barely move.
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We kissed and murmured and whispered to one another till the dawn. She shows the limits within which women were allowed to depart from conventional standards of morality, even in the specific context of the war. Not that we see much of them. The nurses do their best to keep us separated.
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Alec is sympathetic, and inadvertently confesses to being an illegitimate child Rose soon overcomes her initial shock at this revelation:. It had already made her see Dot in a more sympathetic light. Even though he bosses her around when they go to a G. She was grateful he wanted to spend his time with her at all. Willie is a very shy, cautious young boy who grew up with his abusive mother in London.
He was scared of many things and was told by his mother over and over again that he was full of sin. Willie started out being thin and sickly looking; pale with limp sandy hair and dull grey eyes. Later on the novel, he became stronger and more healthy he had colour in his skin and warmth in his eyes.
Willie behaved very well for mister Tom and behaved as though he was still under control of his harsh mother. He soon became more relaxed around mister Tom in the household and behaved more like a young boy. Through such a technique we can relate to the characters up bringing, and how his firm mother would have drilled into him to be good.