Study Books Used in Class: Harriette Arnow’s The Doll Maker
Harriette Arnow’s The Doll Maker is a lengthy novel, written in southern dialect and often times also depressing, characteristics that may make for a more difficult read than The Bread Givers. The main character, Gertie, abandons her dream of owning a farm in the hills of Kentucky where she was born to follow her husband, Clovis, to the poverty of Detroit during WWII. In assessing her choices, ask yourself what forces contributed to her abandoning her dream of a farm that she
believed would bring her family great happiness and fulfillment.
I wish you had been more precise in rendering your analysis of the various forces that combined to contribute to Gertie’s outlook and her perceived choices ? Why did Gertie abandon her dream of purchasing the Tipton farm? Why did she not return to Kentucky? Why did she not allow her daughter to keep chatting with her doll? These are the sorts of questions you might have probed into in greater detail to afford you a more informed understanding of what shaped
Gertie’s decision making
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