Novalee is unlucky.She’s seven months pregnant, homeless and headed to California for an unknown reason.Her dreams of houses, family and love seem far away.Willy Jack wants money.He craves boozes, sex and freedom.He finds himself jobless, with a pregnant girlfriend, and a beat up Plymouth destined for California.In the Billie Letts novel, Where the heart is the American dream involves family, friends, and material goods.Both Novalee and Willy Jack are in search of their dreams, the success of which relies on the decision they make along the way.
Family is an important part of Novalee’s dream.Novalee’s childhood was filled with sadness.Her mother deserted her when she was young and thereafter, she bounced between foster homes until she met Willy Jack.In Willy Jack, Novalee believes she finds love.To her disappointment she does not.However, she finds happiness the baby that they made.Her baby becomes center of strength and her good fortune.”She ran her fingers across her navel and thought of the baby attached to the other side of it, imagining it could feel her touch so that it might even reach out to her.” Page 53.Americus brings Novalee, the love and family she wants.
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Willy Jack sees family as an obstacle to pass in achieving his dream. He has a narrow view of his life.He desperately wants money and believes nothing else matters but it.Willy does not realize that he needs the love of others to help him through life.Willy passes up the option of family early on his quest for his dream.He deserts his pregnant girlfriend in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart.Leaving her with only $7.77 and the clothes she is wearing.”She could see herself running, calling his name- the parking space was empty, the Plymouth gone.He was going to California and had left her behind…” Page 16.Willy’s desire for money compels him to ditch his family.
Novalee cherishes the help and support friends provide du…