Character Development In Birdie

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Character Development within Birdie
Self-acceptance is clearly determined through one’s mind set and the steps that one has or is taking in order to achieve this goal. However, this journey can be slowed by various negative forces that life consists of that one was to fight through in order to achieve the final destination of self-acknowledgement. In the novel, Birdie by Tracey Lindberg, the main character, Bernice undergoes physical, spiritual, and emotional changes that are expressed through her slow development into the person Bernice strives to be. The ultimate destination for Bernice is acceptance of her three identities; Bernice, BirdieBernice and Birdie. Bernice is a defeated and depressed women, BirdieBernice being a motivated version
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Though, acceptance of trauma can allow hindered development, eventually allowing full self-acceptance. Bernice, a once strong woman has been verbally, emotionally and physically abused since her childhood. Resulting in a loss of her sense of being. Within the beginning of the novel, when she is reflecting on her past memories, it becomes clear to the reader that in order for her to be able to accept herself, she needs to surface her past traumas. Bernice explains that, “In the tendrils, Bernice realizes there is remorse in her body and she is trying to kick it out. Her shell rejects remorse. Shame. Feeling bad over feeling good” (49). This mindset is negative and expresses her inability to share her emotions due to previous emotional abuse from her family and the many men that have taken advantage of her. This idea of disallowing happiness hinders her ability to accept herself and her past actions. However, through more time of self-reflection (over 200 hundred pages of her lying in bed with the author switching perspectives, confusing the hell out of me lol) Bernice realizes that she must learn to cope with these traumas and attempt to have a positive outlook on life. As Bernice is accepting the damaged part of herself, she comes to the realization that, “She can feel her body now, its loose and stiff at the same time. Her head, though will be the hard part. Part of her lost for so long that it is hard to enunciate what, exactly, she has found” (228). In comparison to when Bernice was unable to acknowledge her feelings and thoughts, it is now clear that she is slowly learning to manage her issues. By Bernice discovering that she is beginning to acknowledge her thoughts, this is the first step to being able to accept one’s self. In Total, It is shown that Bernice is deeply affected by the trauma within her life, however she is able to

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