Notes on I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Themes

Joanne Greenberg
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I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Topic Tracking: Friendship

Chapter 5

Friendship 1: Esther talks about how Deborah had a difficult time making friends as a child, so Esther would try to butter up the popular girls and get them to like Deborah.

Chapter 6

Friendship 2: Deborah was a lonely child, and that loneliness is what drove her to create an alternate reality to escape the cruel solitude of the world in which she lived. Friendship is a very fragile thing with Deborah because it's been such a rarity in her life.

Chapter 7

Friendship 3: Lee offers friendship to Deborah when Deborah is moved up to the D ward for the first time. Deborah admires Lee's courage to be kind to someone she doesn't know, but friendship is so new to Deborah that she doesn't even know how to thank Lee for it.

Chapter 8

Friendship 4: It was easy for Deborah to recede into Yr because she felt as if she belonged there, whereas there was no other place she belonged because she had no friends. So even in the midst of a crowd of people her age, Yr was more attractive because she knew that she was welcomed there.

Chapter 9

Friendship 5: Deborah feels the first rays of friendship when Carla has the chance to hurt her and doesn't. Deborah isn't sure how to feel about this unexpected kindness because she's not used to having friends.

Chapter 10

Friendship 6: Carla and Deborah are becoming pals by breaking the rules together. Their common enemy -- the rules of the D ward -- unites them in their plan to have fun despite the rules.

Chapter 15

Friendship 7: Deborah and Carla have become friends during their time together on D ward, so when Carla is moved down to B ward, Deborah is sad. To avoid the pain of loss, she retreats to Yr and tries to remove all the feelings of kindness and friendship she felt for Carla because she believes that her friend is gone forever.

Chapter 16

Friendship 8: While Deborah and Sylvia are packed in the same room, Sylvia talks with Deborah until the attendants come to unwrap them. Given that Sylvia doesn't usually talk, Deborah feels privileged to be the person to whom Sylvia. Such a confidence is like a gift of friendship, and Deborah is grateful for it.

Chapter 17

Friendship 9: Deborah made a friend at summer camp, and it was another girl who was just as sick as she. At the time, the illness scared Deborah because she had not yet been allowed to acknowledge her condition. Her fear made her isolate herself from the one friend she had made there.

Chapter 23

Friendship 10: Deborah helps calm Carla without even realizing what she's doing. Such an act of thoughtless friendship surprises Deborah, but it also makes her proud of herself.

Chapter 27

Friendship 11: Deborah shares her dream about Carla's creativity, and it makes Carla happy. Deborah realizes that she has the power to help her friend, and she is learning what it means to be a friend to someone.

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