The Great Gilly Hopkins Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Great Gilly Hopkins.
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Family

Family is a major, overarching, and dominant theme in the novel, "The Great Gilly Hopkins" by Katherine Paterson. In terms of the novel, family, which includes mutual love or affection, emotional support and compassion, and unconditional loyalty towards relatives and relations who may or may not be blood related, affects the course of the entire plot of the novel. Family is presented in two major ways: as a triumphant and wonderful thing, and as a cause for heartbreak.

In terms of heartbreak, the idea of family –of unconditional love and affection and support –breaks down along the mother-daughter line between Courtney and Gilly. Courtney is an unkind, uncaring, and unsympathetic mother and daughter. She rarely contacts her daughter and has not spoken to her mother in thirteen years. Courtney ultimately comes to visit Gilly briefly, only because her own mother has paid her to come and...

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This section contains 940 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Great Gilly Hopkins Study Guide
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