Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson Essay

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson Essay

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Wintergirls is a book related to eating disorders. The author’s purpose of writing this book is to inform readers what a person with an eating disorder. It depicts the inner and outer conflicts that characters like Lia and Cassie face with disorder. It all began with a competition between two characters of who can be the skinniest. Cassie dies in the attempt of winning the game. Lia, the main character in this novel, always keeps track of her food consumption. For example, one breakfast morning, Lia said she didn’t want “a muffin (410),…orange (75),…toast (87),…waffles (180)” (Anderson 5). Lia constantly keeps track of the calories she eats. Unlike Cassie who follows the path of bulimia, Lia inhibits herself from eating, therefore not getting the proper nutrients. This allows the readers to know how a person with a disorder like Lia can restrain herself from eating foods that we’re used to eating in our regular lives. Her ultimate goal frequently change, getting lower and lower each time. Lia strives for a “five hundred calories a day” (Anderson 189). Her constant change of goals allows the readers to know the struggles a girl with such a mindset may feel.
The author’s intended audience is most likely to people who are experiencing the disorder or are interested in knowing more about eating disorders. When Lia was admitted to New Seasons, her rehabilitation facility, she relates her experience to someone who has gone through the struggles in that kind of facility. Lia was expected to be “a good girl [by not poking holes] or write depressing poetry and [eat and eat]” (Anderson 18). Her struggles in the facility allowed the audience who experienced this disorder to relate their experiences. In addition, people who choose to starve...


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...ies or extracurricular activities, the kind of competition that Lia and Cassie undertook was something I could relate to, though it may not be as extreme. Furthermore, I liked how the author didn’t show or tell in this book. She used the strikethrough feature to allow the readers to infer both the outer and inner meaning that the characters may represent. For example, to introduce Emma, Lia’s stepsister, the author stated “My stepsister, Emma…” (Anderson 3). This feature was very distinctive to the author’s style, something I have never seen before.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a topic that was applicable to kids my age and it used a variety of styles and rhetorical appeals to drive the purpose and engage the readers. I would recommend this book to other kids my age to inform them of the serious consequences of such practices like starving yourself.

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