In her youth, Jeannette struggled with denial to understand the reality of her family life. When she was a young girl and her family didn’t have a roof over their heads she only saw the good in the situation. In one instant Jeannette describes a discussion between herself and her sister Lori “I told Lori how lucky we were to be sleeping out under the sky like Indians, ‘ We could live like this forever’ I said,” (18). This quote connects to my claim because it demonstrates that when she was young, Jeannette was in denial about the hard times her family faced.
This passage also shows that as a young girl Jeannette had not yet reached her prosperous future. Jeannette was not only blind about her family life but also about her family themselfs. Jeannette had always believed she had the perfect life, and perfect parents to go with it, she never realized how troubled her family really was. Jeannette reveals a time in her childhood when she was in complete denial about the situation at hand, “There was what mom called Dad’s “beer phase”. We could all handle that. Dad drove fast and sang really loud, and locks of hair fell into his face and life is a little bit scary but still a lot of fun”. 3)
This supports my claim because although Jeannette realized that when her father was in his “beer phase… life got a bit scary” she still could not grasp the extent of how “scary” her life was. Not only does this quote support my claim but it also supports my thesis by illustrating that these are the hard times Jeannette has to go through before she can reach her successful future. As well as her family life affecting her mentally it also affected her physically. Her father had some parenting ways that would not be recommended, and were dangerous for Jeannette.
In this quote Jeannette is being taught to swim by her father in a harsh way, ”You’re going to learn to swim today,”he said… Dad pride my fingers from around his neck and pushed me away… Dad kept telling me that he loved me, that he would never have let me drown… I figured he must be right. There was no other way to explain it”. (66) This quote supports my claim because it shows that even though Jeanette’s father almost caused her to drowned she still yearns to find the best in him and is in denial about the bad.
The fact that in a situation like this leannette still manages to find the best in her father proves that she needs more time to mature before she can reach her full potential. As a young girl she deals with hard situations by blocking them out proving that she has a long journey ahead before she reaches a time where her denial is gone and she can claim her prosperous future. As years pass and Jeannette is in her adolescence she begins to acknowledge the problems that her family has, but she still is in denial about how bad it really is.
As Jeanette’s dad is no longer contributing to the family like he should, Jeannette struggles to convince her siblings he is there for them in a conversation they have “Dad has to start carrying his weight,’ Lori said… ‘He does! ‘ I said. ‘He brings money from odd jobs. ”He spends more on booze,’ Brian said'”. (78) This quote supports my claim because it shows that Jeannette still has denial about her father even though with her siblings help she will begin to realize the truth about him.
The conversation also proves my thesis because with her siblings help Jeannette will clear away her denial, giving her a better path toward success. The one person that Jeannette was in the most denial about was her father, a deadbeat drunk that couldn’t hold a job, know matter what he did she always forgave him and would always defend him in his weaker moments. A quote displaying Jeanette’s denial of her father’s true nature is when she goes over to her neighbor Billy’s house and he told her her dad was just like his, “My daddy is nothing like your daddy! ‘ I shouted. “When my daddy passes out, he never pisses himself! ” (p. 83).
This quote elps prove my claim because it shows that she is aware that her dad is a drunk, but is rejecting the idea that her father is as faulty as Billy’s father. It also helps support my thesis because it proves that she still has to defeat her denial to move on and prosper. This is not the only time that Jeannette has showed her denial by defending her father when he was neglecting to make a good reputation for himself. Another demonstration is when a man from the bar is giving Jeannette and her father a ride home and he insults him, “I told him I was studying hard because I wanted to become either a veterinarian or a geologist…
For the daughter of the town drunk, you sure got big plans,’ he said. ‘Stop the truck,’ I said. “We can make it on our own from here,” (p. 183). This quote supports my claim because even though her father is passed out drunk in the back of the truck she will still defend his honor and get extremely offended by the comment. This quote also supports my thesis because it shows that Jeannette is starting to plan for her future by studying hard. Throughout her adolescence Jeannette overcame some of her denial, but still has a long way ahead of her before she can reach her rewarding future.
Denial was gone when Jeannette was forced to grow up fast because of the reality of her childhood, her parents were no longer the amazing people she had looked up to for so many years, they were the people who always disappointed her. In her late teens Jeannette and her sister realized if they were going to make any sort of a life for themselves they were going to need to get out of Welch and away from their family, so they started saving money to go to New York. Unfortunately one day jeannette comes home to find their money stolen, “Someone had slashed him apart with a knife and stole all the money.
I knew it was dad, but at the same time, I couldn’t believe he would swoop this low”(228). This quote supports my claim and my thesis because it shows that whatever hope she had left of her father was gone because he had stolen the money for not only the prosperous future she was planning for herself, but also her sister. After Jeannette had moved to New York and started a life for herself, she rarely saw her parents, but once and awhile she would get a phone call, “I was annoyed by Dad’s sly request for vodka-tossing it out at the end of the conversation as if it were an afterthought, when I figured it was probably the purpose of the call”. 77)
This quote supports my claim by showing that in her early adulthood Jeanette has overcome her denial and realizes the truth about her father. It also supports my thesis by showing that Jeannette has move on and made a life for herself. In addition Jeannette realized how many times as a child her father had let her down. When she was young there was always a question that her father asked her and she always answers the same way, as an adult she realizes she is no longer trapped in his web of lies, “Have | ever let you down?
Dad said. I heard that question at least two hundred times, and I always answered it the way I knew he wanted me to, because I thought it was my faith that had kept him going all those years” (210). This quote supports my claim because it shows that Jeanette is no longer trapped in that denial about her father. This quote also supports my thesis because it shows that she has reached prosperity not necessarily in social or career success but in emotional prosperity because she is now free.