Three Little Words Book Analysis

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“Three Little Words” is a memoir that shares the story of a girl named Ashley Rhodes-Courter, who spent 10 years in the foster care system. Ashley and her younger brother, Luke, were removed from their birth mother, Lorraine, when Ashley was only 3 years old. She was placed in 14 different homes before she had a permanent address. There was a lot that could be absorbed from Ashley’s story, but one thing that stood out to me is how heavily childhood experiences impacted the lives of many characters in this book. In the late 1960s, John Bowlby proposed his theory of attachment. The theory proposes that infants need to develop a secure attachment with at least one primary caregiver for a healthy development. Without this attachment, it could …show more content…
She had Ashley when she was only 17 years old and was unsure who the father was. She lost custody of her children after being arrested for possession of drugs. She continually claimed that she was getting clean and fighting to get her children back, but always seemed to slip back into her addictions. Although what Lorraine did to her children seems inexcusable, it’s important to consider the environment she was raised in. Lorraine was birthed by a teenaged mother herself. Her mother neglected and abandoned her and she was raised by her father who was an abusive alcoholic. She claimed that she would do anything for her children, but she was unable to complete the tasks that were require of her to get them back. Since she failed to develop a secure attachment with a caregiver, Lorraine was unable to be there for her children and depended on …show more content…
Ashley adored her mother Lorraine, which explains why she was so devastated when she was taken from her. She valued each gift her mother gave her throughout her childhood. Even after years of being in foster care, Ashley was sure that she would be reunited with her mother, so she refused to develop an attachment to any of her other caregivers. In fact, it took her a few years to tell her adoptive parents, Gay and Phil, that she loved them because her mother told her that she was her only real mom and that no one would love her the same. Ashley’s story is evidence how powerful an attachment made during infancy can be. The theories of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth can be applied to the lives of individuals to explain human behavior. It is a useful tool, especially for the characters in this book. Children in the foster care system are at an extreme disadvantage because they are often unable to develop a secure attachment with a primary caregiver. In addition, there are some children, like Ashley, who already have developed a secure attachment and have a difficult time creating that bond with anyone else. No matter what the case is, attachment theories are always useful to consider when studying child

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