Essay about Housekeeping By Marilynne Robinson 's Housekeeping

Essay about Housekeeping By Marilynne Robinson 's Housekeeping

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Housekeeping
Housekeeping is a novel written by Marilynne Robinson, whose title heavily implies a deeper meaning within itself. The story is centered around two girls, Ruth and Lucille, who have been left in the hands of others as a result of their mother 's suicide. The novel is very simplistic in it’s nature paralleling the type of lifestyle that most of the members of the family live, excluding of course Molly who goes to do missionary work and China, and also Helen who drives herself off of a cliff. After the death of Helen the two sisters, Lucille and Ruth, are sent to live with their grandmother in Fingerbone. While the grandmother is a very loving person, she struggles with relaying these same ways of going about life to her daughters, Molly, Helen, and Sylvia. This is one of the first implications that “housekeeping” is something other than a title. Throughout the novel we see each character 's version of “housekeeping.”
The first character we meet is Ruth, the narrator of this story. She talks about her childhood and how she and her sister were abandoned by their two aunts that were given the responsibility of parenthood after their grandmother 's death. The death of the grandfather allowed the grandmother and the three sisters to live very simple lives, free of major responsibility but also doesn 't allow much room for the trouble of success. The grandmother goes about her life, loving for her family, until the three girls eventually leave home to make lives of their own. After the death of Helen, she is left with her two granddaughters, Ruth and Lucille, who like her aunts, were unable to be as affectionate and loving as her grandmother. The girls are with her for about five years before the grandmother passes. The...


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...to piece their home back together.
We’re presented with the thoughts on the mother, by Lucille and Ruth. Lucille likes to think that the mother was very clean and organized, very much a housekeeper, but Ruth is able to see that that wasn 't necessarily the case. She faces the reality of the situation head on, referring to her mother as the abandoner. With Sylvia, Ruth feels at home. She establishes the true meaning of housekeeping.
Marilynne Robinson does an excellent job of creating different versions of the term housekeeping in this novel. Her characters have lead me to believe that their is not one single definition of what housekeeping is. While all interpretations of the word may not be traditional or appealing to our personal thoughts, this novel allows us to see the trials of women throughout life when faced with the responsibility of maintaining a home.

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