Eleanor Roosevelt

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As a child, Eleanor felt she was the ugly duckling. Insecure and shy, she lost both of her parents as a young girl. Her mother, Anna Hall, died of diphtheria along with her brother Elliot Jr. Two years later her father died. Elliot Roosevelt died of illness, alcohol, and despair. He missed his family. Eleanor was shipped to stay with her strict and proper grandmother. Despite the family trying to make Eleanor feel at home, she continued to feel lonely and empty. It wasn't until she was sent to boarding school in England at the age of fifteen when she established a since of self confidence among other girls with the help of a mentor Mlle Marrie Souvestre. Her marriage to her fifth cousin Franklin Roosevelt increased her insecurities and took away her one source of confidence, her volunteer work at the settlement house. Eleanor bored six children. One died as an infant. She stood by Franklin and was interested in whatever interested him. Franklin became ill. Eleanor became his eyes and ears. She traveled and talked to people he governed. She then found out about his affair when she discovered love letters from Lucy Mercer. He was apologetic and they both decided to stay in their marriage as a political couple. Eleanor opened a new path to stand apart from Franklin. She no longer gave herself solely to his wants and needs. Franklin was sworn into presidency in 1933. Eleanor at his side she began her non traditional role of the first lady. Both of their busy schedules kept their marriage together giving them something to talk about. Franklin passed and Eleanor continued to live a full life working in the United Nations. Eleanor then died in 1962 of a deadly disease. A major issue the author raises in this book is the fact that El... ... middle of paper ... ...f accomplishments. She did not want to be like the rest of her family and pass without enduring her life to the fullest. I think Franklin was able to give this full life to Eleanor beside the fact that he could not provide an enriching, loving, and intimate marriage. Eleanor did not express to Franklin her emptiness she felt with their marriage. She hid these feeling by surrounding herself with many people and other relations. Overall, I thought the book to be educational and enlightening to what a political wife has to endure in her life. Youngs work clearly describes Eleanor's life in detail. Giving great emphasis on her background as to why she became the woman she portrayed was very helpful to understanding her actions as a wife, mother, and politician. J. William T. Youngs Eleanor Roosevelt: A personal and public life J. William T. Youngs, New York, 2006

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