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Lillian Boxfish Analysis

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As a young person, I don’t really notice how quickly the world changes and advances around me, because I’m changing and growing right along with it. Lillian Boxfish, the elderly title character in the novel Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk by Kathleen Rooney, does. Her age, a focal point in the novel, allows Lillian to view the world as she remembers it, while at times preventing her from appreciating as it is. On New Year’s Eve in 1985, Lillian decides to ring in the new by remembering the old with a walk around her beloved New York City. As she walks, she thinks of the city as she once knew it and sees the city it has become, reliving memories both good and bad. In particular, Lillian is struck by how easily the city embraces new culture and ideas and forgets the legacy of what came before. Through Lillian’s journey, I learned that while it’s important to appreciate the past, you cannot neglect the present. Lillian spends a lot of her walk reflecting on her long and distinguished career in advertising. Working at R.H. Macy’s, Lillian rose to the top of her profession by writing witty and clever advertisements that drew customers in and made them laugh. Lillian’s love for language was what drew her into the profession in the first place, and she believed that even after she retired that words would always hold the key to creating a successful advertisement. However, as one younger panelist remarked, “My peers and I knew we’d never beat Lillian at her own game. So we cut in
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