Lullabies for Little Criminals Essay

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Unwanted As a child, O’Neill would go from town to town with her mother who thought she was so intelligent and did not need a job. As she got older, they realized living with relatives was not the best idea and that the best idea was for her to go live with her father in Montreal. In Lullabies for Little Criminals, O’Neill emphasizes the struggles of being an unwanted child using similes, metaphors and conflict. Many similes are used throughout the entire novel; this can be shown through the following quote, “A set of fake nails were lying in [the soap dish], like petals that had fallen off a flower” (O’Neill, 5). This relates back to being an unwanted child, because flowers are beautiful and to Baby these fake nails are probably beautiful. She never had anyone tell her what was beautiful and what was not because of the fact that her father was not there for her the way a father should be, and he made her feel unwanted and not to mention, she also grew up without a mother. Conflict is a major literary element used in this novel. O’Neill makes that come to life through many different quotes, such as “I hoped that part of his therapy wasn’t to give up his interest in me” (67). This is conflict because already Jules makes Baby feel like she is not loved and that she is unwanted and to her the fact that while he is at this rehabilitation center, trying to get better, he might forget about her and make her feel more unwanted, than she already is. Jules already neglects Baby on a day to day basis, but now that he is starting over from zero, or trying to, he may feel like Baby is his past and he does not need to intertwine her with his new life. O’Neill uses metaphors in this novel as well. This can be seen through the following quote “Every good pimp is a mother” (168). This relates back to the unwanted child because since Baby’s father is not a very good father

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