While reading this portion of the novel, a few different things stuck out to me. The first one is the secrets that are kept from each other. The second thing that stuck out to me is the fact that Ginny and Rose basically raised Caroline to be who she is today.
Coming from a large family that lives close to each other, I know that there are always secrets in a family. Clearly we are shown in the first part of the reading that Ginny keeps her miscarriages to herself, so we start to wonder what else she could possibly be keeping from us. In this section of the reading the thing that stuck out to me the most about secrets is when we were introduced to Mary. We find out through Ginny’s mothers friend how the mother died of cancer. Mary tells Ginny all of the ambitions that her mother had for her like not marrying at a young age, going to college and getting away from the farm. I think it is surprising that Mary had all of these years to tell Ginny but she never got around to doing it. I think that if Ginny would have known about this that she would have lived her life different. Mary tells Ginny that her mother was most concerned about her, she says,
“She was most worried about you. She used to say, ‘Ginny won’t stand up to him’” (Smiley, 92).
It is remarkable that Ginny’s mother was most concerned about her and not about her six year old daughter Caroline. This adds to Ginny’s characterization and how even at a young age she did not have a backbone to stand up to her father.
Also, in this section, we find out more about how Ginny and Rose raised Caroline. We are told that Caroline was possible going to be brought to an aunts house to be raised, but Larry thought Ginny and Rose were old enough to be mother figures. After reading the quote, “My father though, simply declared that Rose and I were old enough to care for our sister, and that was that”(Smiley, 63) I couldn’t help but wonder why Larry himself was not going to take on the responsibility of taking care of his family. Why would a father trust two young girls to raise a six year old, and basically raise themselves? Ginny and Rose seemed to give Caroline a lot more freedom then they were given by their father. They let he go out and expand. Ginny and Rose were not allowed to do much past the farm, but they gave Caroline the opportunity to go hang out with people and have fun. They even covered for her. I feel like giving Caroline that freedom led to Caroline wanting to move and away and go and gave her the idea that she doesn’t need to be cooped up on the farm for the rest of her life.