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A character with a hidden past can potentially reveal the most about a work of literature.Once their history and motivations are revealed, a central theme may be exposed. In “Little FiresEverywhere”, Celeste Ng uses Mia’s hidden past to reveal the importance of mother-daughterrelationships and the lengths mothers will go to for their children.When we are first introduced to Mia and Pearl, we know very little about their past.Where Mia comes from, who Pearl’s father is, all are questions without answers. Pearl is kept inthe dark just as much the reader is, and the feeling that Mia is hiding something is pervasive.However, the book consistently uses flashbacks to reveal characters’ histories and motivations,and Mia’s is the most revealing of all. Mia was a financially insecure yet talented studentattending an art school in New York. One day, she is approached by a man named Joe Ryan whoasks her to be a surrogate mother for him and his wife, who is unable to become pregnant. His