Kathleen Piper Character Analysis

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Analyzing the Identity of Kathleen Piper in Ann-Marie Macdonald’s book Fall on Your Knees
In her novel Fall on Your Knees, Ann-Marie MacDonald allowed readers to see events through the identity development of substantial characters. She introduced the main characters from the earlier years of their lives which left readers anticipated and eager to find out what would become of them as they transition into adulthood. The characters identities in the novel shed light on the fact that perception is a key factor when identifying and understanding them. Their images were distinctively built, which encouraged readers to see the events that occurred that ultimately shaped the character entity in the novel. Identity is the fact of being who or what
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The eldest daughter of the Piper family is Kathleen Piper. Ever since her birth, she was greatly celebrated and quickly identified as a musically gifted child of the household. She effortlessly became her James’s pride and joy, but developed a strange and unnatural relationship with her mother. “ [He] was going to give that girl everything. She was going to grow up a lady. She’d have accomplishments. Everyone would see” (MacDonald 32). It quickly became apparent that her father's vision was to use her to compensate for his lack of education and to prove to everyone that the Pipers were proper. James had managed to invest continuously into Kathleen as he discovered how musically talented she was at eighteen months old. James began to indulge himself into teaching her how to sing and play the piano. He continued to educate Kathleen by teaching her Latin and children’s classics. The guidance of James resulted in Kathleen accomplished, snobbish identity confined by her luxury. Members within her community also helped heighten her confidence as they described her as “[whose] every feature formed [is] to preternatural perfection” (MacDonald 41). Due to Kathleen mainly…show more content…
But what did change was her wish to be freer. For the first time in her life, “Kathleen is truly and utterly and completely Kathleen in New York. That’s what the city does for you if it’s meant for you. She’s got plenty of personality and no history, and she has never breathed so much air in her life” (MacDonald 122). Kathleen's identity and her awareness of her accomplishments created through discovering her voice continued to support her persona. When her music teacher in New York strategically broke down by her voice to develop a new vocal technique, she became terrified, and self-conscious. Her music teacher Kaiser was trying to help her established what is known as bel canto (beautiful voice). "Bel canto tradition is associated with the rise of a virtuoso class of singers and the emergence of that repertoire of solo song and opera that goes back as far as the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries" (Stark xvii). She refused to sing or make any vocal sound until she rebuilds her voice by learning how to sing on the breath. At that moment, it was clear that Kathleen relies heavily on her vocal and without her voice, she is not as confident. But by her dismay when reconstructing her vocals and the lack of trust she had in Kaiser technique eventually faded as her voice distinctiveness has a redemptive effect on her (MacDonald
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