Character Analysis: We Live In Water By Jess Walter

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“Anything Helps” is a short story in the collection We Live in Water by Jess Walter. The story portrays the life that the main character, Bit, has come to know through the abuse of drugs and alcohol. Through substance abuse, Bit lost custody of his son, lost the life of his partner, and now has to live a lifestyle that he hates. He has lost everything he has ever loved and is now having to beg for money on the side of the road. Jess Walter depicts how the abuse of drugs and alcohol could drastically change your life forever and not only affect you, but others around you. Through the use of point of view and imagery, Walter also helps the reader understand what Bit is going through and how he feels.
Jess Walter uses the third person omniscient in the story “Anything Helps” to let the reader have a better understanding of the thoughts and feelings of Bit. There is no mention of friends or family, so it is assumed that Bit is very alone. Due to the abuse of alcohol, Bit does not have the father-son relationship with his son, Nate, who is taken care by foster parents. Since he does not have custody, Bit doesn't know what that love feels like. Even though Nate never hardly sees his father, and his mother died when he was young, no one can ever really replace his parents.
Additionally to the point of view, Walter’s use of imagery in the short story allows
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In the story, Nate was placed in foster care at the age of five. When Bit sees Nate in the story for his birthday, he is turning fifteen years old. Living with foster care parents, children have to learn a new life style and way of living to fit their new families. Even though there are many children in foster care, “between 2002 and 2012, the foster care population de- clined by almost a quarter (from 523,616 to 399,546)” (GONÇALVES et
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