White Oleander Essay

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White Oleander by Janet Fitch demonstrates how the protagonist, Astrid Magnussen, encounters herself with many struggles and obstacles that she must overcome. The only source of family that Astrid has is her beloved mother Ingrid Magnussen, which shows her charisma in her own egotistic way. The type of affection expressed from mother to daughter causes Astrid to feel suffocated due to the fact that her mother sees her as an extension of herself rather than a particular individual. This provokes Astrid to experience a difficult time setting aside from her mother’s suffocation and outgrowing to become the individual she wants to be. Ingrid’s imprisonment causes Astrid to experience solitude when she is transferred to a foster home. She undergoes abusive, loss, and internal conflicts scaring her mentally. As Astrid experiences her coming of age, she begins to change and learns an ultimate life lesson. After triumphantly overcoming these life obstacles thrown at her, she learns about the intensity of love and loss and most importantly being a strong-willed independent woman. Astrid’s life begins with her mother Ingrid, Astrid’s greatest “fear” (pg. 11) is her mom leaving her and never coming back. As we know more about Astrid’s mother we learn that Astrid does not have a husband and her father is “irrelevant” (pg. 26) Ingrid has all this rules about not letting men stay over at night but once Ingrid meets this man named Barry all her rules go down the thrash and Astrid begins to notice every single little thing about her mother. Ingrid keeps on having dates with Barry until Barry starts putting Ingrid into this oblivious road and soon Barry is nowhere to be found. Ingrid is so desperate and worried and as always Astrid is on the back, just watching her mother’s mistakes. Ingrid blind by love goes on a quest to look for Barry and she finds him at his house and they

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