"Flowers in the Attic" by Virginia Andrews - Novel Essay.

Essay by brookayHigh School, 12th gradeA, March 2007

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Point of view is a powerful device used to position the reader and to establish characterisation. Examine this statement by making detailed reference to the ways that one novel you have studied uses point of view to shape readers responses.

To be loved and cared for as a child is something everyone takes for granted and to be deprived of this for money and materialistic possessions goes beyond societal beliefs and values. Flowers in the Attic, a novel written by Virginia Andrews in 1979, emphasises this using effective characterisation and point of view. The novel follows the sombre story of the four Dollanganger children, who lose their father and then suffer the even greater tragedy of being isolated, deprived and imprisoned from the world by their own mother in the name of greed. Formed through an incestuous bond, the children are thought of as the ‘devil’s spawn’ by their sadistic, religion obsessed grandmother and are locked up in an upstairs attic.

The mother soon ignores her children’s needs and freedom in return for a perfect, materialistic life. The story, told entirely from Cathy, the second oldest child’s perspective, becomes a character study, in the children's perseverance, the mother's greedy, neglectful nature and the grandmother's shameless malice. Through her careful thoughts and ponderings, the character of Cathy draws the perfect image of the characters around her and the relationships she forms with them. Therefore, I am positioned to feel sympathetic towards the innocent children and negatively towards the actions of both grandmother and mother as they ignore the love, affection and freedom the children need to survive.

The character of Cathy is drawn perfectly, as I gain insight into her actual thoughts and ponderings. At the commencement of the novel, she introduces herself as “blue eyed, flaxen haired and fair...