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...he begins to strengthen her opinion of herself as an experienced woman. When she enters the courtroom filled with unsavory characters and "smirking mouths," Maya remembers that the nurses have told her that she has seen the worst life has to offer her, and she uses their words to bolster her confidence. She says, "I was eight, and grown," showing how the incident ultimately sharpens her precocious sense of self. Undoubtedly, she has lost some of the innocence that led to her accept Mr. Freeman's advances. Now, she puts the rape behind her to a certain extent and pays even more attention to her own character. Throughout the rest of the book, however, Maya must continue to struggle with growing pains, particularly those associated with sex. While she may grow wiser in some ways in St. Louis, she nevertheless remains a confused child.
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