Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal Dreams": Alice Essay

613 Words Oct 1st, 1999 3 Pages
Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal Dreams": Alice

She is dead. She does not appear physically but haunts mentally. She is
Codi and Hallie's mother Alice, the late wife of Homero Noline. Throughout the novel Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver, Alice impacted the characters, action, and theme(s). When Alice passed away she took part of Homer with her. What she left was a misfit of time and circumstance; an emotionally distraught and distant man who attempted to resemble a father but veered more towards the tin man. Homero existed beyond his wife as only a page out of an instruction manual, the one with the caution statement. Homero's delicate heart decided that the only way to endure Alice's death was to flush any remembrance or
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One aspect of life and time in which Codi was bred to be distanced from is the past. As Codi grew older she began wondering about her family's past. Homer basically told her they had no past. So with no past and no identity, Codi lived, searching for security and stability through a mother figure. Everywhere Codi went she managed to find a mother figure. Whether it be a man or a woman friend or even Hallie, Codi hid herself in other's security. This search for stability is catalyzed by the lack of a mother in Codi's childhood. The lack of maternal instinct in Codi left her with no sense of direction, therefore; she searched aimlessly for years, for herself. When Codi returns to her childhood home in Grace, Arizona she discovers she does have a past, both in her lifetime and prior to it. Contrary to what
Homero told her, her original family was from Grace, her roots were there. The absence of Alice lays down a theme for the novel: you must return to your roots to find your identity. This is feasible because Codi had to come back to her family's origin and her mother's resting place to finally find her self. Throughout the novel Animal Dreams there is an invisible presence which effects the characters, action, and theme. The reason why this presence is so dramatic and forceful is the fact that it is a spiritual presence, one which we will never
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