The Great Gilly Hopkins Essay Research Paper

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The Great Gilly Hopkins Essay, Research Paper The Great Gilly Hopkins was an interesting novel with many themes, some were hidden and others were obvious. Katherine Paterson has a way of telling a story in a manner that is interesting to the reader yet has a very strong theme, life is what you make of it. Gilly made life hard for herself and never realized it until it was too late. Paterson also had a hidden theme of prejudice. Family was another main theme to this book. This story will help any child who is having difficulties with family or dealing with who they really are. In the beginning of this book Gilly is a selfish and immature little girl who hasn?t learned what life is all about. She has this attitude that she is invincible to pain and will not allow anyone to hurt

her. She has it set in her mind that this new foster home will not work and she will do anything in her power to get to her mother. In the first chapter Gilly thinks to herself ?Nobody wants to tangle with the great Galadriel Hopkins. I am too clever and too hard to manage. . .Here I come, Maime baby, ready or not.? Right from the start Gilly is not even going to give her new family a chance. Gilly has made that decision and she is forced to face the consequences. As the story progresses Gilly begins to realize that she was wrong about Trotter, W.E., and Mr. Randolph. She actually begins to care about them but it was too late. The letter had been written and the her biological family had come to take her away from the life she loved. Gilly didn?t realize that she had done this to

herself until she went to her grandmothers. This book teaches children that the decisions they make will shape the life they have. Paterson is teaching children a very valuable lesson that they will be able to utilize throughout their life. Hidden within The Great Gilly Hopkins is a very racial theme. This story was written in the !970?s and show the signs of the time. Back then people were still very prejudiced and were not as exposed to black people. Gilly was so shocked when she first went to get Mr. Randolph for dinner. She ran back to Trotter and cried, ?He?s gone. Some weird colored man with white eyes came to the door. . .I never touched one of those people in my life.? Gilly had never been exposed to colored people and when she was she reacted in a mean way. She was

appalled at the fact that she even had to deal with them. The time period shows the way that people felt about different races and how children were brought up. Gilly realized that Mr. Randolph was a sweet old man who could teach her a lot. Gilly was also faced with another black person whom she totally despised. Ms. Harris was Gilly?s teacher and would not allow Gilly to bother her. Gilly went out of her way to make life miserable for Ms. Harris because her other schemes didn?t work. She wrote out a card that was very hurtful. Gilly?s prejudice was very clear in her closing words, ?person with a vested interest in maintaining this point of view.? It was very hateful and mean and that is exactly what Gilly had intended. Her scheme backfired when Ms. Harris thanked her for the

card. I think after that Gilly began to really respect Ms. Harris and lose some of her prejudices. This book shows children how hurtful prejudices can be and how they are wrong. Paterson dealt with this sensitive issue in a very meaningful and heartfelt manner. Gilly was a foster child who had been bounced from family to family. Every time she let her guard down she was hurt. Gilly dreamed about her real mother and how wonderful she was. The problem was that Gilly never really knew her mother or what a family really was. When she lived with Trotter she began to feel like she belonged to a family. She learned what a mother, brother, and uncle were like. When she finally was reunited with her mother her dream was shattered. At the end of the novel Gilly understood now that she had