The War That Saved My Life Belonging Analysis

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“Mam smacked me. Hard. My head snapped back against the chair leg and for a moment I saw stars''(Bradley 1). In The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Bradley, Mam desires to not feel humiliated by Ada, while Ada just yearns to feel a sense of belonging. After Mam comes to take Ada and Jamie away from Miss Smith, Ada is forced to rethink who she considers family. After she is finally reunited with Miss Smith, Ada realizes that home is where you are accepted and treasured. All Mam wants is to not feel humiliated by Ada’s clubfoot. At the very beginning of the novel, Mam expresses her shame and humiliation towards Ada’s clubfoot. “‘You're nobbut a disgrace!’ she screamed. ‘A monster, with that ugly foot! You think I want the …show more content…

When Ada breaks Miss Smith's sewing machine, she puts herself into the cupboard. “‘ But why did you put yourself there, Ada? You didn't have to.’ So I can stay. SoIcanstaysoIcanstay…”(Bradley 173). Ada explains to us that she put herself into the cupboard so that she could stay at Miss Smith's house with Jamie. Later in the book, she is talking to her friend Maggie. “‘ I don't want to get used to her,’ I said. ‘She's just someone we have to stay with for a little while. She's not, you know, actually real’”(Bradley 201). This is when Ada shows us that she doesn’t want to get her hopes up about Miss Smith because she is convinced that Mam is going to take her away and that her residency at Miss Smith's house is temporary. After Ada catches the spy, she makes comments about the village’s reception towards it. “It was as if I had been born in the village. As if I’d been born with two strong feet. As if I was someone important, someone loved” (Bradley 282). This moment is when Ada slowly starts to realize that she can be loved and that her foot didn’t define her …show more content…

After Ada is able to strike a deal with Mam, she and Jamie are reunited with Miss smith. “Her head snapped as if it had been yanked by a string. Her mouth flew open, and then she was running towards us, … before I knew it her arms were around me too”(Bradley 311). Miss Smith's unconditional love of Ada and her brother Jamie, help Ada to confront her mother, and ultimately, leads to Ada and Jamie being reunited with Miss Smith. Miss Smith explains to Ada why she let Mam take them away when Ada confronts her about it. “‘You’ll find out,’ she said at last, ‘that there are different kinds of truth. It’s true that your mother has a right to you. … I realized that no matter what the rules were, I should have kept you. Because it is also true that you belong to me’”(Bradley 313). When Ada comes to realize why Miss Smith let them be taken away, she finally starts to allow herself to notice and accept that not everyone is like Mam and that there are people in the world that actually love her. At the very end of the book, Miss Smith expresses her love and affection toward Ada. “I slipped my hand into hers. A strange and unfamiliar feeling ran through me. It felt like the ocean, like sunlight, like horses. Like love”(Bradley 316). When Ada slips her hand into Miss Smith’s hand, she finally fully accepts and acknowledges that she is able to be loved and that

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