In Sections 20 and 21

In Sections 20 and 21 - Jeannette is a very intelligent and...

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In Sections 20 and 21, Walls contrasts her childhood with that of another impoverished  neighborhood boy and demonstrates Jeannette's growing maturity and loss of  innocence. First, Jeannette's interactions with Billy Deel give perspective on the  hardships she faces, and Jeannette's character develops. When Billy takes Jeannette to  see his father, she sees a household that's poorer than her own and a father-child  relationship that's much more damaged than the one she has with her father.  Additionally, through Walls' physical description of Billy's home — the filthy mattresses,  the absence of even makeshift furniture — Walls demonstrates that while her family is  poor, it is creative and loving and takes the time to make a house a true home.  Secondly, Billy's willingness to mock his father contrasts with Jeannette's loyalty to her  own father and her horror at Billy's behavior. This part of the memoir reveals that, while 
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Unformatted text preview: Jeannette is a very intelligent and imaginative child, she still retains a childlike innocence. Once again, Jeannette is not willing to come to terms with her father's drunkenness or irresponsible behavior and doggedly maintains her faith in him. Jeannette loses some of her innocence through her interactions with Billy as well as her Mom's treatment of her grandmother's death. First, when Billy forces Jeannette to kiss him, she begins to learn about sexuality and gains an understanding of what happens in the brothel, the Green Lantern. Secondly, Jeannette is furious with her mother for withholding news of her grandmother's death and in this moment sees just how emotionally detached her mother can be. Through these moments, Jeannette begins to grow up and, while still a child, a child further shaped by the hardships she has endured....
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