The saga of growing up in kaye gibbons story of ellen foster

A radio message from the Andromeda galaxy, over a million light years away, is picked up by a radio telescope, and turns out to be the blueprints and assembly instructions for an alien supercomputer. When the supercomputer is turned on, it builds a beautiful woman, whose mind is partly alien. There was a sequel, about a second Andromeda computer being assembled in South America, with pretty much the same production team, but with Susan Hampshire replacing Julie Christie. The sequel series' title was "The Andromeda Breakthrough.

The saga of growing up in kaye gibbons story of ellen foster

Plot introduction[ edit ] The novel follows the story of Ellen, the first person narratora young white American girl living under unfavorable conditions somewhere in the rural South.

The saga of growing up in kaye gibbons story of ellen foster

The novel is not written in standard English. It is often grammatically incorrect a egg sandwich, growed, etc. The novel is most likely set in the late s, due to the fact that Ellen states the following on page 48 when talking about her teacher-"She lived in the sixties.


She used to be a flower child but now she is low key so she can hold a job. The two time levels are united at the end of the novel, when Ellen is about twelve years old. The reader can follow her life over the course of a bit more than two years. Plot summary[ edit ] Ellen is an only child who does not have a real home, even at the time when both her parents are still alive.

Her father is " trash " and has a drinking problemand the whole atmosphere is one of domestic violence. Her mother has a heart condition caused by "Romantic" Rheumatic fever and, when the novel opens, has to stay in the hospital.

Soon, however, she takes an overdose of pills and dies while Ellen is lying next to her. She starts accumulating money, as she realizes she will need money to have a better start later in life. In spite of her unhappy childhood Ellen is a smart girl; she borrows books from the library and is rather creative when it comes to spending her spare time.

Her best friend, Starletta, is a young black girl who has poor, but kind parents. She is attracted to them although she has been brought up detesting " niggers " and although she herself cannot overcome all the racial prejudice that has been inculcated in her mind all her life. Ellen says she would never sleep in a "colored house".

On the other hand, her father himself has his "colored buddies" with whom he drinks. On the following morning, having decided to leave her father for good, she packs all her belongings into a box and goes to Aunt Betsy, who has no children and whose husband has recently died.

Accordingly, when the weekend is over, Betsy turns her out again, and Ellen has to return to her father. When he starts beating her, her bruises are noticed at school and as a temporary solution, her free spirited art teacher invites Ellen to live with her and her husband, Roy.

Ellen accepts, leaving with her few belongings and the money she has saved up over the past few months.

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During the period of separations, her father tries to get her back by bribing her with money, but fails. Sooner or later the question of custody has to be settled in court. A wealthy woman who can even afford two black household helps, her grandmother turns out to be a grumpy and bitter old woman who does not really love her granddaughter.

She is referred to as the "bosslady" by her workers and she even makes Ellen work in the cotton fields during the summer. What is more, she suffers from severe mental illness and believes that people around the house, even her doctor, are stealing things from her.

When she becomes ill she expects Ellen to nurse her, which Ellen dutifully does up to the time her grandmother dies. Dora, who is the same age as Ellen, and Nadine are a self-sufficient pair who consider Ellen an intruder. Furthermore, Ellen takes a lot of effort to paint a picture for her aunt and her cousin, but she overhears them describing her painting as "silly" and "cheap-looking".

As an act of revenge, Ellen pretends she has a boyfriend who has given her a microscope for Christmas. Nadine calls her an "ungrateful little bitch" and tells her she does not want to see her again in her house.

The saga of growing up in kaye gibbons story of ellen foster

In church Ellen encounters a nice and friendly woman, who she believes is called Mrs Foster, and her well-behaved children. She carefully plans to get in touch with them, and after her argument with Nadine she just packs her things together and goes to the house of the "Foster family". In reality, the "family" is a home for disadvantaged adolescents—a kind of foster family rather than a "real" family with the surname Foster.

Throughout the novel, the reader learns how beautiful her new home is.Archives and past articles from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and - Ellen Foster Ellen Foster is the compelling story of a young girl who is thrust into reality at a very early age.


Written by Kaye Gibbons, the novel is a documentary of the saga of growing up. It is a recurring theme, growing up, depicted through many events over the course of this girl^s childhood.

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Ellen pities Starletta for being black and feels lucky that she herself is white. However, as time goes on, Ellen’s awareness is heightened, as she learns from Starletta and Mavis that it is not skin color that is important but, rather, one’s content and character.

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