Identity In Housekeeping

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Abandonment and Identity in Housekeeping The setting of Housekeeping begins in Fingerbone, Idaho, where the narrator, Ruthie, and her younger sister, Lucille, resides. Although Ruthie and Lucille are sisters, they went through many heartbreaking events that made them view the world differently. Thus, because of their indifferences, they isolated from each other. Throughout the novel, Ruthie and Lucille never had a concrete parental figure to look up too, thus leading them to have a sense of abandonment. Ruthie exploits her adolescent years in Housekeeping to illustrate how she was able to overcome her abandonment issues and leave Fingerbone to find her identity. In the beginning of the novel, Ruthie states how Lucille and her were raised by…show more content…
This causes Ruthie to feel more abandoned that her only friend, her sister, has chosen to leave her alone with nobody; “She would have considered already the fact that I had never made a friend in my life” (Robinson 130). Lucille’s decision to abandon her sister ultimately led Ruthie to find comfort in Sylvie; “Well, we’ll be better friends. There are some things I want to show you” (Robinson 142). Consequently, Ruthie’s interactions with Sylvie creates a maternal bond; “She could as well be my mother” (Robinson 145). Ruthie’s newfound sense of belonging overcomes her feeling toward abandonment. Ruthie will leave Fingerbone with Sylvie, burning down the house that she lived in for so long leaving behind her sorrows and her old self; “I did not dare to turn my head to see if the house was burning” (Robinson 212). In Ruthie’s new life, she is more liberated and independent; “I believe it was the crossing of the bridge that changed me finally” (Robinson 215). In the beginning of the novel, Ruthie was a quiet and awkward girl that seeks acceptance from others, but after leaving Fingerbone, she was able to develop into the character that she is now, a drifter that does not seek anything; “Once they begin to look at me like that it is best that I leave” (Robinson
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