Midterm Hb1 Essay

3581 Words Feb 26th, 2015 15 Pages
HBSE-1 Section 014: Midterm Paper
October 28, 2013

Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons is the story of a young white girl, Ellen, who shares her life experiences over the course of two years. In that time, both of Ellen’s parents pass away, she moves multiple times to temporary homes until she finally finds a safe welcoming place in a foster home. Ellen’s story is rich because it is told in first person narrative and the readers are given context not only to what Ellen is experiencing, but context of the environment she is experiencing it in. To better understand and analyze Ellen, we can view Ellen, and everyone and everything in the novel from a biopsychosocial and systems perspective.
Everything in existence can be viewed as a
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And I will crawl in and make room for myself. My heart can be the one that beats. And hers has stopped” (Gibbons, 1988, p. 10). This scene is very revealing of many systems’ and subsystems’ transactions. On a physical and emotional microsystem level we see Ellen open her individual boundaries and allow an adult to nurture her in a sense as a child needs to be nurtured. Also the heart beating for her mother and then her mother passing away besides her is a traumatic event that Ellen struggles with; and goes on to carry that burden of guilt. Although she felt fear to seek help from the threats of her father, she felt an internal struggle to protect and save her mother as she had already assumed the role as her protector. When she failed to do so it had lasting impacts that would linger and resurface later on with the death of her grandmother.
The day of the funeral Ellen’s house is filled with people who have come to share their condolences. The reader starts to see how multiple systems outside of the family transact and impact Ellen. Ellen chooses to stay in the bathroom and watches everyone through a crack in the door. Ellen states she watches them until she can’t anymore because of all the gossip she overhears about her family. She hears people say, “What did you expect? Marry trash and see what comes of you” (Gibbons, 1988, p. 14). Ellen contemplates making a scene by stuffing her dress to appear as though she has a large chest so all the guests could have

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