But why there a conflict slowly arises between the mother and the girl child. The author spreads the different characters around her so as to have a way to maturity. Only through these characters that Annie the child develops to Annie the young lady. The insecurity which begins to grow in Annie reaches its peak when she sees her mother in the hands of her father. She is unwilling to be touched by her mother’ s hand after that event. In her words “ I was sure I could never let those hands touch me again; I was sure I could never let her kiss me again.
All that was finished” . This is along with her growing to puberty. The conflicts are due to inconsistency in the parental attitude and parental norms. Her mother forces her to study music and manners. Her father Mr. John is an ordinary father who engages in building houses. He represents the masculinity towards which Annie needs more preparations. Yet she recognizes her father’ s love when she was ill. Annie’ s first friendship with Gwen can only be viewed as resulted from the intense desire of replacing her love towards her mother with other girls.
This does not last for a long time. Later she develops a close relationship with the “ red girl” who behaves quite in contrast to what is taught to Annie. She even plays marble with her against the wishes of her mother. Annie says “ I had to do exactly the opposite of what she [Annie’ s mother] desired of me; I now played and played at marbles. She tries to grab her mother’ s attention at the same time wants to be independent.
Sometimes the readers may think that the red girl is the ideal one who Annie wishes to become like. Her face was big and round and red. In her words “ What a beautiful thing I saw standing before me. Her face was big and round and red, like a moon- a red moon. She had big, broad, flat feet, and they were naked to the bare ground; her dress was dirty the skirt and blouse tearing away from each other at one side; the red hair that I had first seen standing up on her head was matted and tangled; her hands were big and fat. ..” .
From her, she learns that the world outside her mother can offer more to her.
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