Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit

This essay has a total of 1058 words and 5 pages.

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit


In a story of a young girl coming of age and finding her sexuality in a very religious
community, it is key to have a female figure that plays a key role for the character. A
mother should play the key role but what happens when this role is confused with a very
spiritual role? Where will a young girl turn to when her life goes against the rules
society has set for her?

Jeanette has lived a sheltered life with no influence on her except for the church. Her
mother is a strict Christian with a deep resentment for things and people not within her
fold. Being brought up in a society where going against the norm is a sin. A society that
shakes its head at acts of individualism and shuns those they can not convert to their way
of thinking. In effect, a cult based on a long -standing text, the bible. In this cult
though, Jeanette finds a kindred spirit that doesn't fit the mold set by this religious

Elsie is an older woman who believes in God and all of his wonders. "'Listen to what the
Lord has done for me this week.' She needed eggs, the Lord sent them. She had a bout of
colic, the Lord took it away." (Winterson, p. 23). Even for her strong belief in God and
all of His glories she is considered an eccentric. She practices numerology, creates
unusual crafts and is outspoken. This personality is what attracts Jeanette. Elsie is so
unlike her mother and the other women of the congregation and this fact pulls Jeanette
closer to Elsie. Jeanette looks to Elsie for guidance and an understanding ear that
doesn't judge her harshly.

On the other hand Jeanette's mother is an extreme personality. This personality is not
seen as eccentric, it is seen as a trait that she is a true believer and follower of the
Lords word. Religion is her way of controlling things in an otherwise confusing world.
Within this circle of believers she can control the people around her with out anyone
questioning her.

Her power is not seen as going beyond the limits. It is seen as a sign that this is her
true calling and that she is a messenger of God. Also, Jeanette is not a child she wanted
to love and care for. Jeanette was a child she adopted so that she could mold another
solider for God. "…She would get a child, train it, build it, dedicate it to the Lord: a
missionary child, a servant of God, a blessing." (Winterson, p. 10).

Even though Jeanette's mother and Elsie come from the same congregation and both believe
in God and his wondrous works, they are very different. These differences between these
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