Perfect follows the lives of four high school seniors all on the relentless pursuit of perfection. Each teenager defines the word differently, so they each take different paths in order to achieve their goal. Their connection may not seem evident because they are not necessarily friends. Their connection, however, is found through their avoidance of failure: the lengths they go to in order to satisfy unreasonable expectations.
Cara is the most well-rounded character, "perfect" in every sense of word. She is expected to stand out academically, athletically and in extracurricular activities with the aim to be accepted to Stanford. It is impossible to please her mother, her father is never home and her twin brother, Connor, is a patient at a psychiatric hospital for having attempted suicide. She does not feel close to any of her friends, and she is not in love with her boyfriend, Sean; she is only with him because he is convenient. Furthermore, throughout the novel, Cara has to accept her sexuality once she realizes she is not "straight". The pressure to admit this to herself is immense - because the label does not fit under "perfect". She feels like she cannot confide in anyone. She is unable to discuss this issue with her boyfriend or her parents. Sean finds out, and Cara is becomes a victim of cyber-bullying. When she finally comes out to herself and to her parents, Cara's brother succeeds in another suicide attempt. Just as Cara's life had been coming together, the end of the novel allows it to fall apart again.
Sean, Cara's boyfriend, is orphaned, left to live with his uncle after both his parents passed away. Sean is "buff", training hard to become a great baseball player so he can live up to his...
... middle of paper ...
...opics, but it was beautifully written. Ellen Hopkins really allowed her characters to shine through their flaws. They were relatable and realistic. She created many controversial scenarios - rape, drugs, cyber harassment, sexual assault, teen plastic surgeries, suicide - although she was smart about it. She was never critical, and she allowed readers to feel for the characters. Their pain was heart-wrenching, but never over-dramatic or annoying. I love the way that the whole book was written in free-verse, and could be read in two ways. It allowed for underlying ideas to be clarified. Ellen Hopkins' novel was raw and powerful. It was on my mind for days after I finished it and allowed to me to realize where the line between self-improvement and self-harm is drawn.
Hopkins, Ellen. Perfect. New York: Margaret K. McElderry, 2011. 622 pages. Print.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Gerard Hopkins wrote God's Grandeur in 1877 right around the time he was ordained as a priest. The poem deals with his feelings about God's presence and power in the world. He could not understand how the people inhabiting the earth could refuse or be distracted from God. This confusion was due to the greatness of God's power and overall existence that, to Hopkins, seemed impossible and sinful to ignore. However, as the poem progresses Hopkins expresses hope in the world and God's everlasting presence in it.... [tags: Poetry Hopkins]
1437 words (4.1 pages)
- ... Ellen believes that they contain more germs and says within the book that she could never imagine drinking after them due to the invisible germs they must leave on the cup. That same evening, they give her a Christmas gift of a sweater, in which Ellen describes as, “does not look colored at all.” Continuing on in the novel, Ellen becomes more educated and seems to acknowledge that regardless of one’s color, there really is no difference between them. The novel shows how Ellen grows out of her biased upbringing of race at the time by showing at the end of the book how she will lick Starletta’s cup in order to show that she no longer thinks the way she used to.... [tags: Fiction, Novel, Family, Ellen Foster]
2006 words (5.7 pages)
- The feeling of walking down a seemingly endless tunnel of shadows is overwhelming for a vast amount of people. The tunnel is as dark as the blackest part of night, and those individuals cannot see a shining light that represents a hopeful end to their troubles. Some experience an inability to recover from hardship or stress in their lives, while others may have a lack of self-confidence or sense of purpose. These are the people who have the hardest time seeing that light at the end of the tunnel and might do just about anything to find a way out.... [tags: novels, teenage-related difficulties]
1147 words (3.3 pages)
- ... She states that she has never felt anything near amazement like that in her life, hence falling in love with the drug and bringing the addiction back to Nevada with her. While settling back in with her stable family, Bree meets two boys named Brendan and Chase whom both have connections to the monster. In desperation for a fix one day, Bree puts herself in dangerous situation and basically “lets” Brendan rape her in change for, “a date with the monster.” After the event, they do not speak, allowing Chase and Kristina to bond more, until eventually they fall in love.... [tags: evolution, destruction, addiction]
828 words (2.4 pages)
- Ellen Moore (A): Living and Working in Bahrain 1. What would you advise Ellen to do and why. What should be her objectives. Are there objectives and actions consistent with what you would do if you were in her situation. Even though Bahrain tended to be more progressive than many Middle Eastern countries in its attitude toward women, there were still many inequalities between genders. The current situation is that Ellen’s general manager asked her to change her mind about accepting the Account controlling position because of discriminatory practices in Bahrain.... [tags: Case Analysis Ellen Moore Essays Questions]
1537 words (4.4 pages)
- A Perfect Ganesh Analysis of the play elements. The author: Terrence Mcnally’s career began in the New York off-off-Broadway boom of the late 1960s. Most of his 60’s plays are not really relevant although some are funny. However, during the 70’s his plays began to get recognition. Nowadays, his plays are performed in off-Broadway theaters and he is known as the author of tragicomic plays, filled with breadth and depth. He still lives in New York and is one of the America best playwrights. He is the author of numerous plays, including Master Class and Love.... [tags: Perfect Ganesh Essays]
2310 words (6.6 pages)
- A Perfect Day for Bananafish Picture walking into a hotel room and finding a man dead on a bed. Upon closer inspection it becomes obvious that he has supposedly taken his own life with the gun that lay beside him. In talking to his wife who was asleep on the bed next to him when this incident occurred, it is learned that he just walked in the door and shot himself late the previous night. Out of the many questions that could be asked from this story, I believe that it is probably extremely important to consider why the main character, Seymour Glass, decided to commit suicide.... [tags: Perfect Day Bananafish]
718 words (2.1 pages)
- Author Biography Kaye Gibbons was born in 1960 in Nash County, North Carolina. Growing up she loved to write. She graduated from Rocky Mount High School in 1978 and went on to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. While in college she wrote her first book, Ellen Foster, it was a huge success. Ellen Foster won the Sue Kaufinan Award for First Fiction from the Academy of Arts and Letters and many other awards. Also, it has recently been translated into many languages and gained recognition worldwide.... [tags: essays research papers]
2136 words (6.1 pages)
- Kaye Gibbons, the author of the novel Ellen Foster, believes that a quote from the Emerson’s “Self Reliance” is connected with Ellen’s struggle to survive and find her way in the world. The first line of this quote says, “Cast the bantling on the rocks” is related to Ellen herself. A bantling is an abandoned child. Ellen is a bantling even though she was not abandoned, she was deprived of a normal childhood. Her life as a child was extremely hard, physically and emotionally. She never had a mother or father take care of her through her entire youth.... [tags: Free Essays]
379 words (1.1 pages)
- Ellen Foster The majority of families were once considered perfect. The father went to work everyday, while the mother stayed at home and cared for her two children, “Henry” and “Sue”. The children never fought and the parents were involved in all the community events. Our society has grown to accept that there is no such thing as a perfect family. Eleven-year-old Ellen from the book Ellen Foster, by Kaye Gibbons, grows up in a household where her father is an abusive alcoholic and her mother is too sick to complete everyday tasks.... [tags: essays papers]
1450 words (4.1 pages)