Differences In Living A Conventional Life In Housekeeping By Marilynne Robinson

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There are two primary classifications of lives one can live: conventionalists and drifters. Most Americans fall into the conventional way of living. In Marilynne Robinson’s novel Housekeeping, Robinson uses the different character development to contrast differences in living a conventional lifestyle versus living an eccentric lifestyle as a “drifter”, such as events like when the sisters first meet Sylvie and when Lucille leaves to go live with Miss Royce.
Soon after Ruth and Lucille were born, there father abandoned them. While living with their mother in Seattle, Bernice, their neighbor below them in their apartment, looked after them, even though Helen was perfectly able to. A few years after the abandonment, Helen, Ruth and Lucille’s mother, drops the girls off at Sylvia, the girl’s grandmother’s house, then drives off cliff into a lake and drowns. Sylvia takes care of Lucille and Ruth for five years until she passes away from an unknown illness. When Grandmother Sylvia dies, Lily and Nona, Sylvia’s unmarried sisters, take care of the girls for a while, then quickly fetch for Aunt Sylvie, who takes care of the girls for the duration of the rest of their adolescent years.
First, Lucille and Ruth immediately recognizes Sylvie’s transience. “We had planned to try Sylvie, but perhaps because Sylvie had her coat on and appeared so very transient, Lucille did not wait till we knew her better, as we had agreed to do” (Robinson 55). Typically, people have their coat on when

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