Lock And Key Character Analysis

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In Sarah Dessen’s novel Lock and Key, Ruby struggles to find her definition of Family. Her father and older sister, Cara, managed to escape from her mother’s alcoholic abuse when Ruby was younger. Now after 10 years apart from her sister Ruby finds herself in the hands of social services who passes her on to Cara and her husband, Jamie. Ruby is forced into a new family that she didn’t even know she had and struggles to adapt to a life with people who care about her and want to know who she is. Sarah Dessen touches on the idea that family is determined by “the people who claim you” (400) regardless of if they are related to you by blood. From this passage the reader gains insight to Ruby's thoughts through first person narration as she ponders …show more content…
When Ruby first gets the assignment, she thinks that family is “the last thing [she has], or care[s] about” (42). Ruby felt that she had no connection with Cara or her family. Later on, Ruby notices that “the way [she] defined [her] own family kept changing” (103). As she “was slowly getting adjusted” (103) to her new life with Cara, her idea of Family was adjusting as well. After being used to abandonment, Ruby allows herself to get close to people for the first time in her life. At the end of the novel, Ruby defined family as “the people who claim you” (103) Ruby was abandoned by both of her parents and temporarily by her sister. When she moved in with Cara, she finally got a loving family who wanted to care for her. This was also the first time where University was an option for her. The idea never even occurred to her until her brother in law, Jamie, took the role of a parent and pushed her to send out applications. Ruby’s final definition of Family conjures how she developed throughout the novel. She has opened herself up to her new family, studied and focused on school and eventually was accepted to university.
In Ruby’s definition of Family, the development of her character is evident when compared to her thoughts on the word Family at the beginning of the book. By having a family who claims her, Ruby became a warm loving character rather than the cold isolated girl she was at the beginning of the

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