Frances as the Devil's Advocate in "Fall On Your Knees" by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Frances as the Devil's Advocate in "Fall On Your Knees" by Ann-Marie MacDonald

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In Fall On Your Knees, Ann-Marie MacDonald presents a vivid and life-like character in Frances Piper. Frances Piper is one of the four Piper girls, and she is indifferent from the rest of them. From her early childhood, Frances is a bold and naughty girl, always getting herself into trouble. She has a great mischievous streak which troubles her father, James Piper, immensely. James Piper also has a demon like personality at various times throughout the novel, some of which he amasses from his father in his early childhood. In this same way, the reader can visualize Frances getting accustomed to her father’s personality and see her become a demon herself, trying to get back at her father. In a way, Frances can be seen as the Devil’s advocate. However, how can a young and sweet girl carry such a negative impact to her family, especially when she is the heart of this novel? Although Frances can be visualized as the Devil’s advocate by her actions, various characters, and the loss of her innocence through her father, Frances is a sweet, young, and seldom scared girl who is trying to live a life that her grandmother, mother, and sisters haven’t lived – a life filled with new adventures, life risking actions, and most importantly, fun.
Frances Piper’s change in nature can be seen the day of Materia’s, her mother, funeral. She cannot control the laughter that escapes her while the funeral proceeding is happening. However she is amazed when James and Mercedes, her sister, think that she is crying. In that moment of her life, Frances learns something “. . . that will allow her to survive and function for the rest of her life. She finds out that one thing can look like another . . . Some would simply say Frances learned how to lie” (142)...


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...d longs for her elder sister and mother. Frances is a good person – at heart – and is always looking out for her younger sister. Moreover, even though she has different views that her father and will always do the opposite of what is expected of her, it is seen that this insecurity is caused by James indeed. Frances feels that in order to gain security in her life, she must perform these actions. She feels compelled to live her life the way she does. Frances’s naughty and mischievous behaviour can be viewed as a weakness she possesses, and she longs to correct these weaknesses by her actions. She is not a role model by any means, but she is by no means the Devil’s advocate. A sincere heart – compelled by circumstances – does its best to make the situation turn out for the better than the worse, and Frances, through her love for her mother, inevitably does just that.

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