Corruption In Janet Finch's White Oleander

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White Oleander is the first book that was published by author Janet Finch in 1999. The book became popular after Oprah Winfrey added it to her book club. Astrid is the only child of a single mother, Ingrid, a self -obsessed poet who is corrupt with beauty and living up to her Norwegian roots to be a warrior woman, a Viking. Astrid cherishes her mother and their world full of ritual and mystery. Ingrid is sentenced to life in prison after poisoning a lover with oleander flowers soaked in milk. This results in Astrid’s journey through a series of foster homes in the very flawed system in Los Angeles. In one home, Astrid is shot by her alcoholic, Christian-crazy foster mother in a fit of jealousy, in another, she is savagely bitten by dogs and…show more content…
Finch reveals the corruption that is hidden by using Hollywood, a place idealistically seen to be a world of celebrities, wealth, food fortune and fame, as the place where Astrid scrounges through bins in desperation to satisfy her hunger. Finch uses characters to address certain aspects of society. The crime of underage sex and attempted murder occurs while Astrid is living with the Christian, Starr. This is a contrast between pure and evil alerts the reader that adults who are supposed to know better are at fault for a corrupt society. The prostitute Astrid befriends make Astrid and the reader aware of the life choices that needs to be made surrounding aspects such as social status, reputation and financial welfare, all things that young females are confronted with in their daily lives. This novel may have been published in 1999, but it was written before that. 1960 to 1999 was a time of change for feminism. Women started to become more powerful and relevant characters in society. Finch disregards patriarchy since all most of the important characters are females who has a great influence on Astrid’s live, but Finch warns the reader of women’s dependence on men. Every unfortunate event in the women’s lives seems to be the product of a man like Ingrid going to prison because she murdered a man, Starr shooting Astrid because of her love for her boyfriend and Claire committing suicide

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