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Ellen Foster Ellen Foster is the compelling story of a young woman who's thrust into fact at a very early age. Written by Kaye Gibbons, the novel is really a documentary of this saga of growing up. It is a recurring motif, growing up, portrayed through several occasions over the duration of this girl^s youth. This growing up subject is evident through the experiences she has, as well as the numerous hardships she faces. Ellen^s embarrassing situation of two dead parents forces her to lose her innocence in a young age, and older much quicker than every other person her age. This is revealed through her comprehensive observations about the world and people around her, such as ^He was a significant wind up doll of a man. ^ This apology describes her father, a lazy drunk who dies early in the book, likely from alcohol poisoning. Her entire life with him is just one of endless anxiety and hatred. She blames him for the death of her mother, who overdoses on heart medication to escape from her life. His drinking habits take on his lifetime, and Ellen is left at home alone, sometimes for days at a time, to fend for herself. This is only one of the many hardships she has to face. After her dad^s death, Ellen has been forced to go from house to house. She is unhappy in all of these, but they're still better than what she had to put up with before. When she eventually does reach a home which she enjoys, her aunt Betsy strikes out her after the weekend, telling her that Ellen was just intended to see for two days. The distress she receives is not limited to her dad. Relatives like her aunt Nadine, who blames what that her daughter Dora does on Ellen, rather than paying her the attention and love she desires, throw her around like an Christmas fruitcake nobody wants. These ev...