The Characters of Maria and Oscie in Ann Rinaldi's In My Fathers House


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The Characters of Maria and Oscie in Ann Rinaldi's In My Fathers House


     In the book In My Fathers House, written by Ann Rinaldi, there
are two main characters whose names are Maria and Oscie. These two
girls are sisters that live in a house that is being divided by the civil war.
Their stepfather (Will McLean) is from the north and is known as a
Yankee in the south. Most southerners disagree with his beliefs on
slavery, but nevertheless, he is still a respected town leader on the school
board and is head of the volunteer fire department. Maria, fifteen and
more a southern belle, tries to get along with people and stays out of
trouble with Will. Oscie, who is a year younger, often tries to get the
better part of Will.

     Oscie and Maria vary in many obvious ways. One of these ways is
that Oscie is more independent and can be more self sustained. Maria
on the other hand is a southern belle who is heavily dependent on her
family for all sorts of different needs. Maria is able to accept reality
more than Oscie, is more mature and can handle being beaten in an
argument, but Oscie can not accept losing and is always trying to best
people around her and herself. An example of this is how Oscie is
always arguing with Will. She even asked her tutor, “will you teach me
to best Will McLean?”

     Although Maria and Oscie are very different they do have a few
things in common. They both have an odd attraction to military men.
This is shown in their choice of guys. They also both share the same
parents. Sarah who is dead now, also has Dr. John and Mama as
parents. Both Oscie and Maria are in love with the south and don’t
want to part with most of its ways when they move.

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     It is amazing how Ann Rinaldi is able to work so much of these
almost completely different people into this novel. At the same time she
works a lot of history into this story that is very captivating once you
get into it. Although that Will McLean is a Yankee , I think it will be
these two girls that really divide the family on the war between the
North and the South.


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