“Literature is the question minus the answer.” This was said by Critic Roland Barthes. The query is, what is the question? In the book The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster, which was written by Kaye Gibbons, it focuses on a gifted girl who, after a long and hard childhood, is now getting the life she wants with a new mother. The book focuses on Ellen, the main character’s, attitude and “go-get-it” mindset. But how much does your attitude and effort really influence your future and accomplishments? That is the question this book proposes and causes the readers to ponder.
Ellen is a remarkably smart and hardworking girl, gifted with a high IQ and the ability to work for what she wants. She tries to take advantage of this and sets her sights…show more content… Although Ellen was a pleasant, intellectual girl blessed with many good qualities, she continued to work on herself, her attitude, and becoming better. She displays the mindset that you can always improve, work harder, and recognize your circumstances and boons, even if you don’t have much. “You realize your method of being in the world isn’t a mindless habit. You can do better, but there never seems to be the proper moment to halt everything and get the shoes off and go on forward, so you push on with working… And at the end of the day, you go home with the proof of your labors, and she's glad to see someone who’s always so willing to do everything precisely and create such large, perfect portions. In a universe they claim is unfolding just as it should, I believe you’ll survive and be fine if you know better than to be ruthless and are ashamed to be greedy. You may not be capable of slowing down, but you can manage to look around and be grateful for the day on your rapid way through it.” (Gibbons 67) Ellen is saying that when you work hard, you go home at the end of the day and you are proud. You have something to show for yourself. If you work on your qualities, try not to be greedy, and “manage to look around and be grateful for the day” then life will work out. This is the philosophy Ellen develops, and it causes her to be happy throughout the