Books and Movies Reviews

White Oleander: American Life and Important Social and Moral Values

Janet Fitch’sWhite Oleander’ is one of the most fascinating and poetic
novels to capture the attention of American readers in recent times. It is
a well-written book depicting the life of a young American girl who
represents the growing dysfunctional family system in the country. The book
is not about foster homes or motherless children; it is essentially about
American life and important social and moral values that it seems to have
lost. Fitch tells the coming of age story of a young 12-year-old girl
named, Astrid who grew up in various foster homes after her mother was
imprisoned for killing her lover. The novel touches some important themes
like American life, a person’s sense of self worth, self esteem, mother’s
love etc but above still it remains essentially about life of an average
American and this reminds us of the ugly possibility that the protagonist,
Astrid could be any one of us. To a large extent, she represents one side
The book is set in Los Angeles, where American life exists at its
dysfunctional peak. This is a place which represents the erratic side of
America and that is what Astrid’s life is all about. It is not normal but
then it is certainly American for each character has been developed
carefully to depict various facets of American life and culture. The mother
of Astrid, Ingrid represents a single desperate woman, in need of a good
life partner yet deprived of real love. It is her inability to developed
positive relationship thatfirst turns her away from men completely and
then turns her into an obsessive lover. Astrid is a sensible person but one
who has experienced a little too much pain. She is a lonely figure,
desperately looking for love and thus she tries to find love everywhere she
goes. In a way, she is like Ingrid, who was also desperate for love but the
only difference is that Astrid doesn’t give up on love and tries to seek it
wherever she is se…

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