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Megan Phelps-Rope
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How did the author's relationship with her mother contribute to her zealous belief in Westboro's dogma when she was a child? How did her mother's tendency toward anger affect her?

Readers should note that these questions and their answers are linked; Phelps-Roper became her mother's assistant in the church's administration in large part because this was a means of securing her attention and affection. When a child grows up in an abusive household, when they are screamed at and physically punished for making mistakes (as the author was when, for example, she struggled with her piano lessons), they long for parental acceptance even more. Embracing the church was an easy way for the author to gain this acceptance. Sadly, this dynamic was an exact copy of Shirley's relationship with her father, Fred Phelps. Abuse is often repeated from one generation to the next.

What is the significance of the story of Jacob and Esau throughout the memoir? Why did this story have such a strong effect on the author?

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This section contains 1,378 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Unfollow Study Guide
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