Characters' Motivations in "Because of Winn-Dixie" Essay

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Because of Winn-Dixie is a delightful book about a lonely young girl who finds friendship in a dog. The main character, India Opal Buloni, finds a homeless dog and she and the dog go on to have a marvelous summer. Friendship between a young girl and her dog would seem to be the central theme in the book. However, when looked at through a psychoanalytic lens the book then has deeper underlining issues. When looked at psychoanalytically the novel takes on a whole new theme. The theme changes from friendship to abandonment and loss.

The book deals with the issue of India being abandoned by her mother. India narrates early in the book, how her mother left her when she was a small child. In the novel India says to Winn-Dixie "See you
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Having lost her mother and having a distant relationship with her father, India finds love in her dog.

The pain of her mother's abandonment is evident throughout the novel. India constantly refers to the pain of her mother absence, " And the biggest one, my biggest sadness, is that my mama left me when I was still small."(115). India is trying to cope with her mother leaving her at such an early age. Her mother abandonment causes India to take on duties that seem well beyond her years. She shops for the house and takes care of the house. Having no mother at home causes her to act older than she is. She is a very independent young lady. She gets around on her own, finds a job, finds friends and acts more like a teenager than a little girl. She behaves much older than her years.

India seems to hold an unhealthy belief that her mother will come back: " ...I keep hoping I'll get to meet her..."(115). India hopes and prays for her mother to re-enter her life. ."..if my mother ever came back...I would be able to grab her and hold on to her tight and not let her get away from me again"(30). Her continuous hope constitutes denial of the probability that her mother is not coming back. Although India finds a great friendship in her dog Winn -Dixie, she finds the new town she lives in and the loneliness of having no friends makes her particularly vulnerable to her mother absence. "It was the same way I felt sometimes, being friendless

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