Dress Lodger Reflective - FINAL.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Cell and Systems Biology

Sathya SivapathasundaramBorn PoorThe Dress LodgerWhile we live we shovel your coal cook your food and spread our legs and then when we have the gall to die you tell us our work is still not done Holman 266 The Dress Lodger thby Sheri Holman is an intriguing novel that takes place in 18 century Sunderland EnglandIt is a story about a fifteen year old dress lodger Gustine who works day and night in a quarantined town so her baby can survive from Ectopia Cordis a defect where a child is born with the heart outside the chest Due to her babys condition she rents a costly blue dress and finds men who are interested in hiring her for the night The novel discusses her journey as she meets important characters along the way such as Dr Chiver who claims he can help cure her son and the Eye who she initially believes is a threat to her and her child The Dress Lodger uses both Gustine and Dr Chiver to emphasize the gap in social classes and to illustrate how the world seems more chaotic Gustine is an ambitious young mother that would do anything so that her baby can survive However I believe that a young mother who has an urge to do something so desperate creates chaos because she is not an adult and all her focus goes towards her baby rather than other important aspects of life For example when I was in a relationship with my first girlfriend and things did not work out my mind did not want to focus on school Rather I spent my time thinking about her and our situation and as a result my education suffered in grade 9 Similarly because Gustine has other pressing issues to deal with such as her baby her living conditions and her job she is unable to redirect her attention to important things such as education In the quarantined streets of Sunderland Gustine roams the streets at night seeking men whom she can sleep with for a price and during the day she works at the potters house She has only been
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