Ellen Foster: A Novel about a little girl

Essay by chris_007_sniperHigh School, 10th gradeA+, March 2004

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Ellen Foster: The Story Of A Little Girl

Ellen Foster, a novel by Kaye Gibbons, is a striking story of a young girl constantly faced with problems and heartaches. In the Deep South, after her mother dies, by the poor decision of her alcoholic father, Ellen is to stay with her grandmother. The grandmother and the father both die, and Ellen is faced with her aunts, neither of which likes her. We notice in the novel that Ellen has many characteristics, three which stand out the most among the character, which are: maturity, racism, and lying.

The first problem we see with Ellen is racism. When she goes over to Starletta's house, she is offered something to drink, but Starletta drank from it first. She wouldn't from the glass because she was afraid of "black germs". The same exact thing happened with the cookies. By the end of the novel Ellen has completely matured over the racism issue.

This shows that she has grown both as an individual, and as a friend of Starletta.

Secondly, we see Ellen lying to others. She doesn't tell anyone what her real problems are or is lying behind their back. She is constantly deceiving and being mischievous. When she talks to her counselor she doesn't tell him the real reason she changed her name. The real reason she changed her name is because she was ashamed and haunted by her previous last name. This is all hidden by her nice and kind personality.

The third thing we see with Ellen is her overwhelming maturity for her age. Not only reading literature that is intended for older people, but her ability to take care of herself. The fact that she can take care of her herself and her mother really shows that...