Lena St. Clair's Identity

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The word “identity” is defined as who the person is, the characteristics that define him, how he thinks about himself and how he is viewed by everyone else. Among the four daughters whose stories constitute the novel, Lena St. Clair is one of the weaker characters. She is fragile, and acts according to what other people think about her. Thus, she lacks the drive to assert herself, failing to take initiatives. The song “Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson is about the artiste telling her father the pain of their deteriorating relationship following the divorce of her parents. This can be contrasted with the relationship between Ying-Ying and Lena, which is one aspect of and also what lead to, the many things that shape Lena’s identity, including…show more content…
She said that when she “was so young”, she “heard (her father) cry every night in (his) sleep”. Though the song does not delve much about Kelly’s feelings, I believe that seeing her father in that state and not being able to help him, must have been very heart breaking for her since Kelly sang afterwards “You should have known; better than to lean on me”. This hints that she deems herself incapable of offering sufficient moral support for her father, eventually “(watching) (him) die”. This is very similar in Lena’s case, where Ying-Ying plays the part of the ‘depressed parent’ where she repeatedly shouted accusations at herself for not preventing the death of Lena’s little brother. However, Lena could not bear to let her father know what Ying-Ying said, and translated the accusations differently in English. Following the incident, she watched her mother fell apart “piece by piece” and get distressed when cooking, with her knife “poised in the air over half-chopped vegetables” and becoming “a living ghost”. Kelly and Lena are both placed in difficult positions at a young age. Both of them came from unhappy families and hence, the song matches Lena’s story well because both protagonists share similar…show more content…
When she thought to herself that “(she has) learned the hard way; to never let it get that far”, the audience is able to derive that she presently, has learnt her lesson to be more proactive and less passive. She has perhaps started to take actions to prevent some events from becoming disastrous. This is like Lena learning an important lesson from her neighbours. She had initially thought that the fact that her neighbours fought everyday was rather unfortunate. However, she then “head them laughing and crying, crying and laughing, shouting with love”. From this, she realises the significance of expressing oneself, even when it affects peace and harmony. She applied her lesson learnt by expressing her desire to change the pattern of her life with Harold, telling him that “(she) just (thinks) (they) have to change things”. Even Harold is surprised to hear Lena voicing her thoughts, as he replied her “in what sounds like a hurt voice”, because he had never imagined that Lena could have thoughts like that. Hence, the beginning of the song bears some resemblance to Lena’s thoughts as both Kelly and Lena finally have hope about standing up for their beliefs after the each of them learnt their own lesson. In conclusion, the song “Because of You” is able to convey Lena St. Clair’s identity well as both narrators have similar character traits, predicaments
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