The Orphan Train : A Novel Essay

The Orphan Train : A Novel Essay

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The Orphan Train: A Novel

Everybody lives one life, but some they live many lives. Vivian Daly, in The Orphan Train by Christina Kline, has lived in numerous homes, had 3 different names, and countless life changing experiences in her many years. Niamh Power, Dorothy Nielsen, and lastly Vivian Daly these different characters vary everything from appearance to religious views. These different names make her who she is in life. Everyone of the names is more than just some letters, the changing of names is the changing of her life, the girl she used to be no longer exists when ever that name no longer exists. Nothing in her life stayed the same so why should her name?

Niamh Power is the sweet innocent girl that every young lady starts out as. Born in a small village on the coast of Ireland call Kinvara. Niamh was put through the greatest hardship a child can endure. The death of her father and brothers and the loss of contact with her mother and sister is something that could break the spirit of any young girl or even the strongest soldier. This great tragedy is what shaped Niamh as a child. Niamh is a very inclusive and fearful girl. She is very pessimistic in all situations; If it can go wrong, it will go wrong if you ask her. That kind of cold and reserved little girl doesn 't come from years of loving attention, it comes from neglect, absence, fear, sorrow, and sadness in ones life when all they really need is a strong foundation to grow upon. Before the incident, Niamh represented a brave little girl who traveled hundreds of miles with her family into a strange new world to start what she didn 't know would be the first of many new lives. Once arriving in New York the hardships of poverty and filth were overbearing in su...


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...re ways then originally expected. Molly’s name, “Molly Molasses” comes from the Penobscot indians and represents how to indians packeted everything valuable into their canoes and help it all above their heads to travel. This was just like the two girls’s only possession they had from childhood is the necklace they both always wear and traveled with.

Niamh Power is the name of only the young Irish girl who traveled a way to find a new home before losing everything and becoming Dorothy Power. Dorothy desperately searches for her home and does the best she can with what she has. Vivian Daly is the young woman who finds the love of her life only to lose him. All of these names represent completely different parts of her early life. Vivian Daly is the final out come of all these different stages and she wouldn 't be the same if it wasn 't for each and every one of them.

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