Debbie and Julie Essay

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Madsen Hardy has a doctorate in English literature and is a freelance writer and editor. In the following essay, she discusses the theme of motherhood and the contrast between Debbie and Anne as maternal figures.

"Debbie and Julie" concerns a teenager's decision not to take on the responsibilities of motherhood. Julie, the adolescent protagonist of the story, gives birth to a baby daughter and, resisting the positive feelings she has toward the infant, abandons her in telephone booth, a place in which she hopes the baby will be quickly found. Relinquishing her own role as a mother is only one of the ways in which Julie learns hard lessons about motherhood over the course of the events that the story describes. The narrative characterizes Debbie, the prostitute who took Julie in when she ran away from home, as a mother figure and compares her to Anne, the...

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This section contains 1,686 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Debbie and Julie Study Guide
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