St. Sucy's Home For Girls Raised By Wolves Analysis

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A human’s emotions can be their greatest ally or worst enemy. Positive emotions such as desire and satisfaction primarily assume the role of motivation within a person. However, negative emotions possess an even greater motivational impact due to their ability to drive a person beyond their personal limits. For example, shame is a devastating emotion that causes feelings of inadequacy and failure. As a result, people strive to prevent shame to themselves and others at all costs. However, through these efforts to avoid shame, people are often pushed outside of their comfort zones and accomplish difficult and seemingly unreachable goals. Through her story “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves”, Karen Russell establishes a main theme of…show more content…
The main character Claudette expresses this idea through the quote: “...but who did we have to run back to? Only the curled black grimace of the mother. Only the father, holding his tawny head between his paws. Could we betray our parents by going back to them?” (Russell 232). Although the girls would love to go home, returning home would upset their parents and cause them to be ashamed of the girls. Therefore, the family shame motivates the girls to ignore their natural urge to return home to the forest in order to honor their parents’ wishes. In another example, Claudette acknowledges the shame that would come with failure: “But we knew we couldn’t return to the woods; not till we were civilized, not if we didn’t want to break the mother’s heart” (Russell 232). The girls’ wish to avoid shame causes them to continue to remain at St. Lucy’s and assimilate a culture that is not their own. Through this shame, the girls are pushed to immerse themselves entirely into human behaviors. Due to the presence of this potential shame, it is in the best interest of the girls and their parents for the girls to remain at the school and become human citizens. By creating this situation, Russell shows that even the potential of shame forces people to act against their own

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