Theme Of Social Support In Stewart O Nan's Emily Alone

1. In the novel, Emily Alone by Stewart O’Nan three examples of social support are Emily’s friends—Marcia her neighbor and Betty her housekeeper, her family— Arlene and Kenneth, and her dog Rufus. Emily’s neighbor provides social support early on in the book when she helped Emily’s jumped start her car. Betty her housekeeper provides social support because I feel Emily sees her like a friend. Feeding her and getting her food she likes. Betty keeps her company, but at the same time she helps her with daily struggles of upkeep in her home, making it easier for Emily since she is aging. Her sister in law Arlene provides support because they go on weekly outings together like eating at the buffets and meeting with their friends. Kenneth her son …show more content…
As Emily looks back at her life, I feel like she has some regrets, like most people do, and at the same time she is sorrowful and alone, but also she had gone through much in her life with Henry she could be proud of. Early on in the book, there is a quote about how she felt after Henry’s passing. “ she was dying inside, yes, they all were… to be devastated by the idea, that only showed how young he was” (O’Nan, 3). This quote relates to Emily being alone and sorrowful since her husband is gone. She now has to go through this aging process alone, when most still have their partners to support and be there for them. Although Emily had some sad moments as she looks back, she can also be proud of her and Henry’s achievements. As Emily is talking about how Margaret never truly discovered herself and the point where Emily says she and her husband started to help was when she realized her daughter was living beyond her means. This showed us the regret Emily may have, that she may have done things differently to avoid Margaret being this type of person. After battling alcoholism and financial issues, Emily and her husband had to step in. This shows Emily the difference between her and her daughter. When she and henry were starting out they stuck to a strict budget and making their own money, when Henry’s family could have easily lent them money, they stuck to their hard work and in time were able to qualify for a mortgage and then only were they able to afford a nice place. This Emily should be proud of, as her and her husbands were self-sufficient. Now, towards the end of the book, Emily is at henry’s grave she was feeling that she was soon to die, but as she stood there contemplating, she realized she didn’t want to die. She wanted to be around to see her grandchildren and children; to be part of their lives. This showed her progress from feeling alone to wanting to not be

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