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Analysis Of The Novel 'The Midwife's Apprentice'

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Many people need confidence for a better life. In the historical fiction novel, The Midwife’s Apprentice, the author Karen Cushman, shows that the hardships people experience in life change them and gives them confidence in what they do. In the middle ages, where life was devastating and uneasy, people made hard decisions to support their life and were often treated poorly. Alyce, the main character, who lives during the middle ages first lives in a dung heap and then transitions to stable job positions. But as the story progresses she discovers she must change herself and develop confidence to live a better life. At the beginning of the book, Alyce is unconfident in herself. Before “Brat” discovered the relative warmth of the dung heap,…show more content…
(pg. 57) “...Joan, with the kind attention of the midwife’s apprentice, brought fort a daughter..”(pg. 60) At the end of the long night finally the baby is born. When the midwife comes back to establish her earlier remarks were incorrect, Alyce feels like she accomplished something and lets out a “smile.. facing the midwife’s jealous anger.” (pg. 60) Alyce chooses to help a boy who is at a low point of his life. When Alyce knows she has some confidence she takes it upon herself to help someone who does not. “There huddled as close to Tansy as her calves, lay a sleeping boy.” (pg. 62) “I be leaving mistress..I took nothing, I hurt nothing, I be going.”(pg. 63) Even though Alyce has a choice to let the boy live his own life she chooses to help him. The boy finishes the cheese Alyce gives to him, and “looks up at her, bread?”(pg. 63) In this point of the book Alyce has never been treated respected, or cared for. Taking what she knows little of she helps the boy and gives him food. Later on in the book the two reunite after Alyce begins to work at the inn. Alyce goes back to the village after leaving to make sure the boy, Edward has “food warmth and a place to belong.” Like brother and sister the two play “knights with the chickens and appreciate each other’s presence just like they did before.” (pg. 96) Alyce feels confident in herself when she
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