Phases Of Immigrant's Life: “St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised By Wolves”
When we hear the word family, most of us picture love, compassion and an unbreakable bond. But sometimes the word family can mean betrayal, heartbreak and lies. It can be conceivable that we must change our lives at one point of another, we can’t choose whom we share blood and DNA with. Although, change is uncomfortable and people hate to admit it; unfortunately, it is going to occur multiple times in our lives, change is inevitable.
Some people want to change who they are related to and in some cases, themselves. However, we must live the life we have and play the hand that's been dealt. We must accept the concept that change can happen at any time; no matter if we see it coming or not. The focal character, also the narrator of “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves”, discovering that “We didn’t know at the time that our parents were sending us away for good. Neither did they.” (Russell 268)
Not even aware that her life as she knew it was regarding to come to an end, and changes were on the horizon. The author makes it visible that the focal character is at the start of a whole new life. This far fetched tale regarding three girls that were being raised by wolves is merely evident that the story has variety of major themes love ,immigration, gender roles and religious beliefs in the story.
When first reading “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” it’s apparent a theme is in correlation to Immigration and what it truly means to be “civilized.” “The nuns, they said, would make us naturalized citizens of human society”(268). People moving to the US from other countries with the idea of creating and improving their personal lives and the lives of their relatives, not knowing the English language. In addition, they must study the ways of the modern people crowding them so they can feel a sense of belonging in this community, and be able to speak with others and they can try to obtain careers to help themselves and family. “The whole pack was irritated, bewildered, depressed”(270).
The sisters discover that they must put great effort to adapt to the modern environment and culture, which influenced a few to feel alienated, discomfort even depressed. Even when the sisters begin to ponder the reason people in this new environment live the way do. The girls become more comfortable in their new environment in Stage 4, as they understand it better. Finally, the girls find it easy to be able to be a part of both environments in Stage five. These stages in the tale portray some of the different phases in an immigrant’s life.
By writing “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves”, the author, Karen Russell, helps the readers imagine a perspective of immigrants, helping them to understand and ponder how difficult life can be when moving to a modern culture. The girls are forced to obtain a new name, study a different culture, and adjust to a new humanity. When trying to learn a whole new concept, it can be challenging and takes time. So, at the first stage of change the girls were unaware of what changes were occurring.
Another theme focuses on Gender role tradition. More so, this story tackles on gender roles and the participation of Christian Preachers. The gender role discussion is described in the scene in which the girls go to a social event with the boys from the male school. Following, the girls are designed to keep a forceful of a script and when our narrator becomes free, her dance partner panic stricken and is at a dumbfounded for words. .In addition, at the beginning day at St. Lucy’s the girls fail to remember their new “address” and spray “exuberant yellow streams all over the bunks” (268)
This to me resents how women in our modern society are required to be emotionally restrained and always be graceful and elegant. The girls are taught to control their feelings and actions carefully, and the pressure of that subduing plainly models narrow. Women today are capable of anything and think they are men and have basically leaving important purpose such as child rearing. While men's role has stayed the same and now that women are making more money in some cases.
For the most part, male gender roles have not changed. Women's roles have. Women today, provide an income, take care of the house, the family, cook, clean, run all the household errands. What noticeable theme all over is the absence of love and sympathy that develop from the characters’ conversion from wolves to humans. Claudette mentally restraining herself back, she worries continuously regarding the lost of points and instead loses her pack. Obtaining humanity means a decrease in sympathy. “Jeanette states "not for you"(277) when Claudette asks for help this is the sign of her abandoning her sisters. At this point the story has gone from man vs nature to man vs himself.
By the time they reach stage four it can be apparent that the bond of compassion is broken and the girls are looking out for themselves.” The pack hated Jeanette, but we hated Mirabella more.”(271) The sisters over time start being too only care about themselves rather than each other. Even by the tie they reach to stage five in can be concluded that the girls have turned on one another and that they went from a pack of wolves to a lone wolf. Principles brought on a community was in comparison to what Christian Preachers did to Africans.
In the story, the girls are forced to go by a new name, learn a new culture, and adapt to a new society. Once the girls began to behave like genuine young ladies, however, the girls begin to dock harsher feelings and embarrassment toward their stride walk, and loathing toward their fast adjusting elder sister Jeannette as well as their stubborn consistent youngest sister Mirabella (271). This is what nuns and Preachers did to Africans in societies that weren’t Christian. They changed them and forced them to worship Christ instead of following their own beliefs and practicing their own faith. Even today everyone believes in different religions and every religion thinks they are correct.
Many people are forced into going to church especially as children, which makes people pass on what they were taught from generation to generation. However, some people despise churches, due to they feel there is an ulterior motive. In some cases people believe the church is similar to a cult. Cults force people to change their beliefs and lifestyle in order to persuade people to act or behave a certain way. Overall, the sisters discover that they must put great effort to adapt to the modern environment and culture, which influenced a few to feel alienated, discomfort even depressed. "Whatever will become of Mirabella?" we asked, gulping back our own fear. We'd heard rumors about former wolf-girls who never adapted to their new culture"’(271).
Even when the sisters begin to ponder the reason people in this new environment live the way do. The girls become more comfortable in their new environment in Stage 4, as they understand it better. Finally, the girls find it easy to be able to be a part of both environments in Stage five. These stages in the tale portray some of the different phases in an immigrant’s life.