Relationships In John Steinbeck's Pearl

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Probably the most unique relationship of them all, Pearl completely changes when Beck leaves the family. While Pearl is already a very superficial person, she has an intense fear of humiliation that stems from her not wanting anyone that Beck has left them. This novel was set in a time where single parents were se few and far between., and because of this there were hardly any services to help single parents raise their children. As a single mother, Pearl was already extremely obsessed with orderliness, and because she is forced to get a job to support the family she becomes so incredibly lonely, exhausted, and downright angry, that she crosses the line in her relationships with her children and resorts to physical and emotional abuse. Compared …show more content…
Jenny marries three times and ultimately is not able to intimate with anyone. Women whose parents’ divorce are likely to be hampered or even overwhelmed by anxiety when it comes time to make decisions about marriage (pdf). This is clear with Jenny when she is able to be convinced by a fortune teller to get married (96). Jenny enters her adulthood with the same orderliness that her mother had, and marries a man more obsessed with order than her or her mother. Similar to her mother, she was left by the next man that she loved. He left her when she was pregnant. With her third marriage, she becomes a stepmother of 6, and while she takes care of the children- she finds herself emotionally distant and finds herself getting physical with her child. With her new huge family, and her demanding career as a pediatrician she stays so busy that she has no time for real intimacy. Throughout the novel she recalls multiple instances where Pearl both verbally and physically abuses her. Children living with one biological parent were between 3 and 8 times as likely as children living with two biological parents to have experienced neighborhood violence, caregiver violence (ncbi). Unfortunately, Jenny continues the pattern of family abuse, which she struggles to overcome- saying “Was this what it came to—that you never could escape? That certain things were doomed to continue, generation after generation”

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