The Story Of Joan And Len Similarities Across Ethnic Backgrounds

1330 Words Dec 1st, 2015 null Page
Joan and Lena: Similarities Across Ethnic Backgrounds The way an individual identifies themselves is very important for their overall well-being and self-esteem. Life experiences have a major impact on an individual’s sense of identity. These life experiences can either hurt or help their identity, and as a result, shape the person they become. Even though these characters are from different ethnic backgrounds, Lena St. Clair and Joan Foster share similar life experiences: both women use food as a way to control something in their life, and both find themselves in a marriage focused on practicality rather than love. In Lady Oracle, author Margaret Atwood tells the story of Joan Foster, a romance novelist writing under a pseudonym with a complicated present and an even more complicated past. Growing up, Joan had a strained relationship with her mother. Her mother had named her after the supermodel Joan Crawford: someone who was thin, beautiful, and well-respected. Joan Foster, however, was not thin or beautiful by her mother’s standards, and that was one of the things “for which my mother never quite forgave me” (28). Joan knew of her mother’s disapproval from a very early age: her mother enrolled her in dance classes at age six, “because she hoped it would make me less chubby” (29). As Joan aged, her mother’s disdain became more and more apparent. She would leave diet booklets and dress magazines on her bed and would make cutting remarks about Joan’s weight (51).…

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