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Is the author a "better person" in the end?

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LCT    7

There is a comment in this forum made by the author in which she states she hopes she has learned "a little something about being a better person" from this experience. After reading the book, do you see evidence of this? 

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No.  I think she just settled into her new surroundings and accepted her new normal.  I didn't see any effort being made towards self-improvement and her closing comments made it clear to me that she hadn't learned any real lessons.

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Daisy    0

It's an interesting question that is broad. From whose point of view? How does that person define being a better person? Is being on a path towards being a better person mean the answer can be yes?

I think from Jennifer's point of view, it is a yes. She has done much contemplation and developed a deeper and fuller understanding of all that occurs and intertwines to make up life. She has defined what she thinks works well, where improvements can be made, and set a course of action.

My point of view does not matter. It is her life and her definition of what is a better life.

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Sue Riley    1

She has made changes and made peace with herself and her situation. In her mind, I think she believes that has made her a better person. She definitely experienced personal growth and was taking more responsibility for the family finances.

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pia    1

The writer's sort of privileged entitlement and just blatant non awareness in some areas is irritating in the beginning of the story and by the end I develope empathy for her, so I think that indicates improvement.  She did right by her children and got them educated and cared about their nutrition.  Having had parents that either totally didn't care or actively sabatoged my education, i know that is a lot.. This is a person that lives for the moment, I have to respect that.. I felt at first that I didn't learn anything from this story, but the economics and freakonomics are interesting and that is the stuff that keeps coming back to me.. Not really heavy literature that gives you a lot to analyze (which I enjoy) but an easy short read more revelent to our current economic status as a country.. 

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Ned    0

Yes, she experiences a great deal of personal growth and learns a lot of new skills.  I thought it was interesting that she felt responsible for the loss of her friendship with the woman who had rented them the house.  

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I think that writing about her life may have helped her to become more objective about it.The online discussion probably helped her to see the error of her ways too.

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SEC    2

"Better" is hard to define.  She is better at appreciating that simple things (like nature) can make you happier than having a big shiny house to compete with the neighbors.  She is definitely not better at making money / saving for the future as I can't imagine a handful of goats will help them get out of their debt situation.

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Jayne P.    0

The author has Jennifer contemplate how her life was not going as she planned and the universe seemed out of wack.  Jennifer thinks about how her parents would have dealt with financial problems differently, perhaps more sensible. Going back a generation or two she relates her new found life to her grand parents and great-grandparents who lived hand-to-mouth. She becomes more aware of small happenings in present moments, acquiring mindfulness. One point stated such as "we are a product of not only our upbringing but also of the DNA of our ancestors" made me think of my own ancestors. By the end of the book, Jennifer realized the value of family & love & commitment. Forgive people you love.

What are other's thoughts about the statement, "family members who lived before us will always be with us" ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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yakkergirl    0

No I don't feel she did. I have to agree with another poster that she just accepted her situation. During the book she would contemplate her situation and start to indicate that she was opening her eyes to what life was about but when something uncomfortable happened she was quick to blame her husband and continued to be a victim. 

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