Character Analysis: "Ellen Foster"

Essay by forevercool87College, UndergraduateA+, May 2006

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"When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy" (1). Ellen Foster hated her dad, and just wanted to be apart of a family without him. Ellen's mother committed suicide when she was just eleven. That left her responsible for paying the bills, shopping for groceries, and even cooking for herself, because her alcoholic father only cared for his drinks. Throughout the novel written by Kaye Gibbons, Ellen Foster searches for a loving home and a descent family that she can be apart of. Her perception of family changes throughout the whole novel depending on what situation she is in.

"Everything was so wrong like somebody had knocked something loose and my family was shaking itself to death. Some wild ride broke and the one in charge strolled off and let us spin and shake and fly off the rail. And they both died tired of the wild crazy spinning and wore out and sick" (2).

That is how Ellen felt about her family. She felt very scared and in need for someone to hold her and care for her. When her mother died she couldn't stand the fact that she had to live with her abusive father and felt scared when his friends would come over. Ellen wanted to live life without fear, so she asked her aunt Betsy if she could stay with her. When her aunt said that she would be happy and that it would be nice to have a girl around, Ellen felt so happy. Ellen felt that this move will change her life forever until she found out that there was a misunderstanding and the stay was only for a weekend. Ellen returned sadly to her house of horror.

Ellen's father's friends were over when Ellen locked herself in...