Lullllabies For Little Criminals Character Analysis

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The novel Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill is narrated by Baby -- the 12 year old protagonist and daughter of a single father and heroin addict, Jules. Baby never knew her mother and is unaware that she has any other family. They live in various dilapidated hotels in Montreal’s red light district. As Karl Marx famously said “[People] make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past." Likewise, the selection of her family and the environment in which she lived were not determined by Baby. Baby was born in an unstable and derelict environment, paired with minimal parental support…show more content…
Every good pimp is a mother. When Alphonse spoke to me his voice always had the same tempo as a lullaby” ( O’Neill, 2006, pg 186). When children are neglected, they accept and follow those who take interest in them. “Children look to their environment to decide what is right” (Johnson, A. G. 2008, pg 15) . Baby’s examples of acceptable behaviours were derived from an environment inundated with prostitutes and drug addicts which negatively impacted her well-being. By her own admission the women she admires were “the young drug addicts” (O’Neill, 2006). Take for instance when Baby saw a prostitute with a tattoo; she decided “I would get a tattoo of a butterfly on me before I turned fourteen” (p.257). Lack of maternal support lead Baby down a dark path, because in the presence of her two foster mothers, Baby flourishes; she feels loved and appreciated because she has a routine. For instance Baby remarked “I wasn’t sure whether I wanted [Isabelle] to let go of me” this is a clear indicator that she needed a mother’s

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