Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? - Chapters 1-3 Summary & Analysis

Winterson, Jeanette
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Summary

In northern England, in 1960, Mr. and Mrs. Winterson adopt a baby girl. This baby grows up to be Jeanette Winterson, writer of many books, including Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? Jeanette’s first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, published in 1985, is semi-autobiographical and tells the story of a girl adopted by Pentecostal parents who falls in love with another woman and leaves home.

As a child, Jeanette is frequently beaten and locked out of the house overnight. Her family is poor and religiously zealous. Mrs. Winterson is an unhappy woman who longs for the rewards she believes will greet her in the afterlife. When Mrs. Winterson is angry with her as a child, she says: “The Devil led us to the wrong crib” (1). Mrs. Winterson compares Jeanette to the boy in the crib next to her before she...

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This section contains 1,448 words
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Buy the Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? Study Guide
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