Defining Moments in April Raintree's Life

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“Memories. Some memories are elusive, fleeting, like butterflies that touch down and are free until caught. Others are haunting" (Culleton 1). April Raintree is a novel about two girls struggling to identify with something. Somehow caught in a never ending battle of how to survive. For April Raintree, her battle was both hiding and finding her identity- spiritually, emotionally and physically. Even though April Raintree had so many defining moments in her life, the three main factors that shaped her identity was living with the DeRosier’s, the rape, and the death of her sister. When April Raintree was living with the DeRosier’s, they changed her identity drastically. By living with the DeRosier’s April was taught to hate her people, her family, but she also learned to stay strong. Living with the DeRosier’s made April fully realize that people view Métis as “second class citizens”. Living with them was what sparked her desire to be white. She even plotted that “When [she got] free of [that] place, when [she got] free from being a foster child, then [she]would live just like a real white person"(34). The DeRosier’s were also the ones who shattered her dreams of a perfect family by saying “We take you in because your parents don’t want you"(35). The DeRosier’s left April with a shame of her background and an even deeper shame for her parents. Even though the DeRosier’s did so much bad for April and her identity, they still did some good for her. They made such an horrible environment but April stayed strong and grew as a person. She even said “I could let the DeRosier’s suck out my dignity for now and I could pretend they had me where they wanted me. But my future would belong to me" (51). The rape was a very defining moment for April. She thought she would never trust a man again, that she was going crazy, and how she believed she was the rapists’ property. The
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