Essay On Elaine's Shortcomings

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In order to gain Cordelia’s approval and friendship, Elaine becomes a scapegoat for her three friends. On account of her family’s travelling as well as because of her earlier lack of girlfriends, she feels somewhat different from her classmates. In fact, Cordelia, Carol and Grace not only impose their ideas on Elaine and never respect her but abuse her for two years with the excuse of improving Elaine’s ways of living as well. They continuously dominate her and force her to do what they want and she suffers in their hands as well as at their homes and at school. As a result, Elaine always feels as if they are not her friends but her enemies. Although Elaine is oppressed and abused by her three girlfriends, nevertheless Cordelia is Elaine’s worst victimizer, who takes away her self-confidence and identity. Actually, Cordelia assigns Carol and Grace to observe Elaine’s day to day activities carefully. These trios of Cordelia, Carol and Grace force her to walk ahead and they follow behind her so as to perceive her shortcomings. Accordingly, once she allows herself to be shaped by her…show more content…
On the other hand, Osborne indicate that, “when Cordelia and the other girls bury her, Elaine has no image of herself in the dark hole, jut a square of blackness . . . at this point, she essentially loses her identity” (104). Along similar lines, Katarina Gregersdotter in “Watching Women, Falling Women” argues that Elaine willingly slips into the role of a girl-among-girls for three reasons. First of all, she yearns for girlfriends whom she has only read about in children’s books due to her nomadic lifestyle. Secondly, she does as society expected her, since the reward is acceptance, and she has not discovered any optional behavior yet. Finally, if she does not perform what is expected of her, the punishment will be very harsh

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