Thematic Essay on Billie Letts' novel Where he Heart Is. How Forney Hull, Sister Husband and a love for her child influenced Novalee to build a new path in her life

Essay by wazupall05High School, 11th gradeA+, November 2004

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Building the Path

Some people experience, at one time or another, a point of selfish pity in which they believe they are destined to fail. In the novel Where the Heart Is, Billie Letts introduces Novalee Nation, a 17-year-old pregnant high school dropout who is left to fend for herself and her child in a situation many may have found hopeless. With Sister Husband's help to find Novalee a home, the intellectual guidance of Forney Hull, and a determination to give her child, Americus, a home, Novalee proves that only she can determine the path of her own life.

With the help of Sister Husband, Novalee begins to build a path in her life by finding a home. For example, after Novalee has her baby, she believes that there is nowhere for her to go after being abandoned by family and her child's father. "Like a shepherd coming for lost sheep, Sister rounded up Novalee and Americus, herded them into the covered wagon, then raced away, heading for safety...heading

for home" (110). Everyone needs help and guidance in desperate times, and Sister Husband is there for Novalee and her baby to guide them, like a shepherd, on the right path. With the helping hand of Sister Husband, Novalee will be able to continue her life on a better track and establish a stable and loving home for both her and Americus. The impact of Sister Husband's help is seen later in the book when Novalee is offered a chance to sell Sister Husband's home after she passes away. "...home is where your history begins...'What?' 'I was just wondering if you'd be going back to Tennessee?' 'No. I'll be staying here. Staying home'" (251-252). Both her and her baby have so many memories in Sister Husbands home, Novalee cant be...