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Book Analyses on Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson - Essay Example

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Character Sketch: Ramona: She was a person of happiness and good natured generosity, the orphaned child of a Scottish father and Indian mother, adopted daughter of the Moreno family. Her approach to everyone showed a sunny disposition and much kindness, and though she had been given every material comfort, she was aware that Senora Moreno had no feelings of warmth or affection for her…
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Book Analyses on Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson

Download file to see previous pages... This is a strong character trait, a calm acceptance, and the ability to be grateful for the love received from others, in particular, old Father Salviederra and Felipe. At the age of 19, when the story opens, Ramona was still waiting patiently, working hard in the house, helping others and displaying a generosity of spirit which allowed her to pity the Senora, with 'gentle faithfulness' (Chap 3, p) She was thus both intuitive and perceptive.
Within Ramona, there was a core of strength and pride which became apparent when faced with Senora Moreno's refusal to allow a marriage with Alessandro. Her sense of justice, love and loyalty enabled her to overcome fear and desperation as she dared to tell the Senora, "You have been cruel; God will punish you." (Chap 12 p) Evidence of a lack of material greed was presented, when all she took from the jewels and rich clothes, her potential inheritance, was a ragged silk handkerchief. "I will keep this handkerchief...I am very glad to have one thing that belonged to my father." (Chap. 11, p) Her character may be aptly described as noble. Despite all
the tragedy which followed her marriage to Alessandro, Ramona showed a steadfast love and loyalty, the ability to make the best of any situation, and a willingness to stand up for what she believed in. The implications, threaded throughout the narrative, are that the character of Ramona is a positive reflection of her Indian heritage. Such positive attributes were designed by the writer to highlight the qualities, as well as the unjust situation of the Native American people at that time.
Morality of Ramona: If examined on a superficial level, some might consider that her actions suggest the behavior of a disobedient, spoiled and willful young woman, driven to demanding her own way and getting what she deserved as a result of her ingratitude. This is evidently not the case, there was no other way Ramona could have behaved and stayed true to herself and her nature. From childhood to womanhood, she displayed a purity of heart, a goodness which meant she did no harm to another person, took only what was hers, expressed gratitude, and held onto her integrity when tragedy struck. Ramona showed that justice, loyalty and love were more important to her than material possessions, ideals made more evident by her willingness to leave a life of relative luxury and security, for one of poverty and dispossession, the lot of the Indian people. Her motives were not only driven by love for Alessandro, but by the realization that she 'belonged' - she acknowledged her Indian heritage, and the fact that she would never be a Spanish noblewoman. Becoming 'Majella' was symbolic of this acceptance, she was honest, and tried to live by her own code. "Nothing can be so bad as to be displeased with one's self." (Chap. 4 p.) This was Ramona's moral code.
The qualities of grace, love, loyalty and courage in the face of adversity were evident in the tragic life she encountered, losing her child, then Alessandro, but holding fast to her beliefs. It is significant that wherever they went, people were impressed by her goodness. It is significant ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson
Senora Ortegna, just before her death, hands over four year old Ramona to Senora Moreno. Though Senora Moreno despises the fact that Ramona is half Indian, she agrees to take care of Ramona only due to her sister's persuasion and Father Salvierderra's request.
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