A Northern Light Essay

Jennifer Donnelly
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The power of A Gathering Light comes from its dilemmas, which are universal: the desperate wish to break free from the hard labour and grinding poverty of their life on the land; the conflict between loyalty to family and what one knows, and the attractions of dreams and aspirations. It is why the book appeals to adults too, though one could add that Donnelly's sensitivity to social injustice gives urgency to the narrative, without ever leading to stereotyping, or making her didactic. After all of this, it comes perhaps as a surprise that Donnelly herself 'had a fortunate childhood, parents who pushed me hard to do my best.' Never any real deprivation, then. Even when she fell in with a much wealthier bunch of friends, her father merely advised her, if she wanted what they had, to 'Work. Get an education. Make something of yourself.'...

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This section contains 250 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Northern Light Study Guide
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