Kaye Gibbons Writing Styles in Ellen Foster

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Point of View

The first-person narration in Ellen Foster makes the book distinctive. Ellen's unique perspective-that of a child lost amidst the swirling anger and cruelty in her family-Is like the eye of a storm Though only eleven, wise Ellen quietly perceives that her dysfunctional family "never was the kind that would fit into a handy category." Through her eyes we see that the adults around her are less capable of nurturing her than she is herself. She is sensible enough to know she needs a family and a "new mama" to take care of her.

Ellen's wisdom about the world contrasts with her often-incorrect vocabulary and grammar, emphasizing the concept that insight and authority can come from unlikely places. While a third-person rendering of Ellen's wretched circumstances might become maudlin, Ellen's good humor and resourcefulness are revealed in her dogged yet spirited first-person narration.

Setting

Ellen Foster takes...

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This section contains 992 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ellen Foster Study Guide
Copyrights
Novels for Students
Ellen Foster from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.