This essay is a brief overview of the novel Ellen Foster, by author Kaye Gibbons. It explains how the main character, Ellen, matured because of her experiences.

Essay by aandfchica120Junior High, 9th gradeA+, January 2004

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Author Kaye Gibbons takes us through the riveting story of Ellen Foster, an 11-year-old girl who is forced to face reality much sooner than her peers. Throughout the course of Ellen's life, growing up is a recurring theme portrayed by the traumatic experiences she withstands and the hardships she faces. Ellen undergoes a major life change when her parents die and she realizes she has nobody to depend on.

Living with an invalid mother who has a severe heart problem and an abusive, drunken father all eleven years caused Ellen to mature faster than any other person her age. With parents who tended not to show concern and guidance for her, she had to learn from a very young age how to fend for herself. Her intellect is shown when she has in-depth thoughts such as "And oh how I have my rage and desire for the lightening to come and strike a vengeance on him.

But I do not control the clouds or the thunder". This quote tells of her father, the man who left her alone for days at a time while her mother was in the hospital. Ellen blames him for the death of her mother, who commits suicide by taking six pills. Soon after, her father dies also, but due to alcohol poisoning. Now without a home, Ellen moves from house to house looking for a place to live. First she stays with her mother's sister Betsy. Betsy acts like the mother Ellen never had and treats with her with such love and compassion that Ellen wants to stay. However, when she asks to stay her aunt says no and explains that she was only supposed to stay for the weekend. The first day going back to school Ellen's teacher notices a bruise that her...