Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

Jeanette Character Analysis

The protagonist of the novel, Jeanette is a fictionalized version of the writer Jeanette Winterson. Headstrong, self-sufficient, devoted to God, and a natural story-teller, Jeanette grows from a young girl to a young woman over the course of the novel, and as the story progresses she wrestles with her homosexuality, her uncertainties about evangelism, and her relationship with her domineering adoptive mother. As Jeanette grows up, she struggles to make sense of the complicated and rule-ridden world around her through stories of princes, knights, and sorcerers, all of which reflect the very real and complicated trials she faces as a young queer woman in a repressed environment, despite their fanciful characters and settings. Jeanette’s selfless devotion to God and to her church is, she finds, unfortunately in direct competition with her burgeoning sexuality. Though Jeanette is an involved member of her church, preaching and teaching Bible study weekly, her desires are seen as “unnatural,” and Jeanette begins to realize that the future she thought she wanted for herself—a future as a missionary and an evangelist—may not be possible. As Jeanette realizes that she is a lesbian, her church attempts to exorcise the demon that has taken hold of her—but during her exorcism, Jeanette realizes that to relinquish her demon will be to relinquish all that makes her who she is. As Jeanette becomes more self-secure and more driven by her own quest for love and for self-understanding, she questions the church more and more, eventually renouncing her desire to become a missionary and leaving the church rather than submit to another exorcism when her second lesbian relationship is discovered. Jeanette is cast out of her home and must fend for herself, and as her physical circumstances become more and more difficult and demanding, Jeanette retreats further and further into the world of fantasy. The stories she tells herself grow darker and darker as Jeanette reckons with the tensions between who she thought she was and who she has come to be; what her responsibility to the woman who raised her, challenged her, and ultimately sought to destroy her is even after she has left home; and whether her own search for happiness and fulfillment is, at its core, selfish. At the end of the novel, as Jeanette watches her mother struggling desperately to hold their religious community together, Jeanette sees her greatest adversary in a new light, and contemplates the relationship between history and fiction, past and present, and the endless spiritual births, deaths, and rebirths of the self that are part of every woman’s coming-of-age.

Jeanette Quotes in Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

The Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit quotes below are all either spoken by Jeanette or refer to Jeanette. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Storytelling, Fantasy, and Invention Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grove edition of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit published in 1985.
1. Genesis Quotes

Like most people I lived for a long time with my mother and father. My father liked to watch the wrestling, my mother liked to wrestle; it didn’t matter what. She had never heard of mixed feelings. There were friends and there were enemies. Enemies were: The Devil (in his many forms), Next Door, Sex (in its many forms), Slugs. Friends were: God, Our dog, Auntie Madge, The Novels of Charlotte Brontë, Slug Pellets, and me, at first. I had been brought in to join her in a tag match against the Rest of the World.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker), Mother
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:
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The old woman got hold of my hand. She looked at my palm and laughed a bit. “You’ll never marry,” she said, “not you, and you’ll never be still.” She told me to run home fast. I ran and ran, trying to understand what she meant. I hadn’t thought about getting married anyway. There were two women I knew who didn’t have husbands at all. They ran the paper shop and sometimes they gave me a banana bar with my comic. I liked them a lot… [Once] I heard [my mother] telling Mrs. White about [them]. She said they dealt in unnatural passions. I thought she meant they put chemicals in their sweets.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker), Mother, Mrs. White
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
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2. Exodus Quotes

“Dear Jeanette,” [my mother wrote], “there’s nothing wrong, you’re just a bit deaf. Why didn’t you tell me? I’m going home to get your pyjamas.” What was she doing? Why was she leaving me here? I started to cry. My mother looked horrified and rooting around in her handbag she gave me an orange. I peeled it to comfort myself, and seeing me a little calmer, everyone glanced at one another and went away.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker), Mother (speaker)
Related Symbols: Oranges
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:
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My mother came to see me quite a lot in the end, but it was the busy season at church. They were planning the Christmas campaign. When she couldn’t come herself she sent my father, usually with a letter and a couple of oranges. “The only fruit,” she always said. I filled my little bucket with peel and the nurses emptied it with an ill grace. I hid the peel under my pillow and the nurses scolded and sighed.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker), Mother
Related Symbols: Oranges
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:
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“Jeanette, we think you may be having problems at school. Do you want to tell us about them?”

“I’m all right.” I shuffled defensively.

“You do seem rather pre-occupied, shall we say, with God. Your sampler, for instance, had a very disturbing motif. And why did you choose to write about hoopoos and rock badgers in your animal book, and in one case, I believe, shrimps?”

“My mother taught me to read,” I told them.

“Your reading skills are quite unusual, but you haven’t answered my question.”

How could I?

My mother had taught me to read from the Book of Deuteronomy because it is full of animals (mostly unclean). Whenever we read “Thou shall not eat any beast that does not chew the cut or part of the hoof” she drew all the creatures mentioned. Horses, bunnies, and little ducks were vague fabulous things, but I knew all about pelicans, rock badgers, sloths and bats. This tendency towards the exotic has brought me many problems.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker), Mrs. Vole
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:
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When the children of Israel left Egypt, they were guided by the pillar of cloud by day and he pillar of fire by night. For them this did not seem to be a problem. For me, it was an enormous problem, perplexing and impossible. I didn’t understand the ground rules. The daily world was a world of Strange Notions. I comforted myself as best I could by always rearranging their version of the facts. One day, I learned that Tetrahedron is a mathematical shape. But Tetrahedron is an emperor… The emperor Tetrahedron lived in a palace made from elastic bands. The emperor was beloved by all. Many brought gifts; [fine] material and stories of love and folly. One day, a woman brought the emperor a revolving circus operated by midgets. The midgets acted all of the tragedies and many of the comedies. They acted them all at once, and it was fortunate that Tetrahedron had so many faces, otherwise he might have died of fatigue. They acted them all at once, and the emperor, walking round his theatre, could see them all at once. Round and round he walked, and so learned a very valuable thing: that no emotion is the final one.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker)
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:
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3. Leviticus Quotes

The conference was booked for a Saturday, and there was always a market on Saturdays, so my mother gave me an orange box and told me to shout at everyone what was happening. I had a bad time. It was raining and I wanted to do a good job. Eventually Mrs. Arkwright took pity on me. She let me put my orange box inside the shelter of her stall, so that I could give out [pamphlets] without getting too wet.

“[Your] mother’s mad,” she kept saying.

She might have been right, but there was nothing I could do about it. I was relieved when two o’ clock came and I could go inside with the rest.

“How many tracts did you give out?” demanded my mother, who was hovering by the door.

“All of them.”

She softened. “Good girl.”

The sermon was on perfection, and it was at that moment that I began to develop my first theological disagreement.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker), Mother (speaker), Mrs. Arkwright (speaker)
Related Symbols: Oranges
Page Number: 61-62
Explanation and Analysis:
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4. Numbers Quotes

It was clear that I had stumbled on a terrible conspiracy. There are women in the world. There are men in the world. And there are beasts. What do you do if you marry a beast? Beasts are crafty. They disguise themselves like you and I. Like the wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood.” Why had no one told me? Did that mean no one else knew? Did that mean that all over the globe, in all innocence, women were marrying beasts?

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker)
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:
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I now know she had rewritten the ending [of] Jane Eyre. It was her favourite non-Bible book, and she read it to me over and over again, when I was very small. I couldn’t read it, but I knew where the pages turned. Later, literate and curious, I had decided to read it for myself. I found out, that dreadful day in a back corner of the library, that Jane doesn’t marry St. John at all, that she goes back to Mr. Rochester. It was like the day I discovered my adoption papers while searching for a pack of playing cards. I have never since played cards, and I have never since read Jane Eyre.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker), Mother
Page Number: 75-76
Explanation and Analysis:
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We read the Bible as usual, and then told each other how glad we were that the Lord had brought us together. She stroked my head for a long time, and then we hugged and it felt like drowning. Then I was frightened but couldn’t stop. There was something crawling in my belly. I had an octopus inside me. After that we did everything together, and I stayed with her as often as I could. My mother seemed relieved that I was seeing less of Graham, and for a while made no mention of the amount of time I spend with Melanie.

“Do you think this is Unnatural Passion?” I asked [Melanie] once.

“Doesn’t feel like it. According to Pastor Finch, that’s awful.” She must be right, I thought.

Melanie and I had volunteered to set up the Harvest Festival Banquet, and we worked hard in the church throughout the day. When everyone arrived we stood on the balcony, looking down on them. Our family. It was safe.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker), Melanie (speaker), Mother, Pastor Finch
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:
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5. Deuteronomy Quotes

That is the way with stories; we make them what we will. It’s a way of explaining the universe while leaving the universe unexplained… Everyone who tells a story tells it differently, just to remind us that everybody sees it differently… People like to separate storytelling which is not fact from history which is fact. They do this so that they know what to believe and what not to believe. This is very curious. Very often history is a means of denying the past. Denying the past is to refuse to recognize its integrity. People have never had a problem disposing of the past when it gets too difficult, and if we can’t dispose of it we can alter it.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker)
Page Number: 94-95
Explanation and Analysis:
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Constipation was a great problem after the Second World War. Not enough roughage in the diet, too much refined food. If you always eat out you can never be sure what’s going in, and received information is nobody’s exercise. Rotten and rotting. Here is some advice. If you want to keep your own teeth, make your own sandwiches…

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker)
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:
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6. Joshua Quotes

“Renounce her, renounce her,” the pastor kept saying, “it’s only the demon.”

“I can’t,” I said. “I just can’t.”

“We’ll come back the day after tomorrow,” he confided in my mother. “Meantime, don’t let her out of this room, and don’t feed her. She needs to lose her strength before it can be hers again.”

My mother locked me in [the parlor.] She did give me a blanket, but she took away the light bulb. Over the thirty-six hours that followed, I thought about the demon. I knew that demons entered wherever there was a weak point. If I had a demon my weak point was Melanie, but she was beautiful and good and had loved me. Can love really belong to the demon?

“They’re looking in the wrong place,” I thought. “If they want to get at my demon they’ll have to get at me. If I let them take away my demons, I’ll have to give up what I’ve found.”

“You can’t do that,” said a voice at my elbow. Leaning on the coffee table was the orange demon.

“What do you want?”

“Everyone has a demon,” the thing began, “but not everyone knows how to make use of it.

“Demons are evil, aren’t they?” I asked, worried.

“Not quite, they’re just difficult.”

“If I keep you, what will happen?”

“You’ll have a difficult time.”

“Is it worth it?”

“That’s up to you.”

The demon vanished.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker), Mother
Related Symbols: The Demon, Oranges
Page Number: 108-109
Explanation and Analysis:
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“The Lord forgives and forgets,” the pastor told me. Perhaps the Lord does, but my mother didn’t. While I lay shivering in the parlor she took a toothcomb to my room and found all the letters [from Melanie,] all the cards, all the jottings of my own, and burnt them in the backyard. There are different sorts of treachery, but betrayal is betrayal wherever you find it. She burnt a lot more than the letters that night in the backyard. I don’t think she knew. In her head she was still queen, but not my queen any more.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker), Mother, Melanie
Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:
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“Here you are,” said my mother, giving me a sharp dig in the side. “Some fruit. You’re rambling in your sleep again.” It was a bowl of oranges. I took out the largest and tried to peel it. The skin hung stubborn, and soon I lay panting, angry and defeated. What about grapes or bananas? I did finally pull away the outer shell and, cupping both hands round, tore open the fruit.

“Feeling any better?” sitting in the middle [of the orange] was the orange demon.

“I’m going to die.”

“Not you, in fact you’re recovering, apart from a few minor hallucinations, and remember you’ve made your choice now, there’s no going back.”

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker), Mother (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Demon, Oranges
Page Number: 108-109
Explanation and Analysis:
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7. Judges Quotes

I was almost asleep when the pastor appeared with my mother hovering in the background. He stood a safe distance away like I was infected. The pastor explained to me as quietly as he could that I was the victim of a great evil. That I was afflicted and oppressed, that I had deceived the flock. My mother gave a little cry, then got angry again. They started arguing between themselves whether I was an unfortunate victim or a wicked person. I listened for a while; neither of them were very convincing, and besides, seven ripe oranges had just dropped on to the window sill.

“Have an orange,” I offered by way of conversation. They both stared at me like I was mad. I lay for a long time just watching the oranges. They were pretty, but not much help. I was going to need more than an icon to get me through this one.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Demon, Oranges
Page Number: 133-134
Explanation and Analysis:
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I made my bed carefully the last morning at home, emptied the waste paper basket, and trailed the dog on a long walk. At that time I could not imagine what would become of me, and I didn’t care. It was not judgement day, but another morning.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker)
Page Number: 140
Explanation and Analysis:
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8. Ruth Quotes

“Daughter, you have disgraced me,” said the sorcerer, and I have no more use for you. You must leave. Winnet could not ask for forgiveness when she was innocent, but she did ask to stay.

“If you stay, you will stay in the village and care for the goats. I leave you to make up your own mind.” He was gone. Winnet was about to burst into tears when she felt a light pecking at her shoulder. It was Abednego, the raven she loved.

“[If you leave] you won’t lose your power, you’ll [just] use it differently. Sorcerers can’t take their gifts back, ever.”

“And what if I stay?”

“You will find yourself destroyed by grief. All you know will be around you and at the same time far from you. Better to find a new place now.

Winnet sat silent at the edge of the fireplace. The raven, struck dumb, could not warn her that her father had crept in, in the shape of a mouse, and was tying an invisible thread around one of her buttons.

Related Characters: Jeanette, Mother
Related Symbols: The Demon, Winnet
Page Number: 148-149
Explanation and Analysis:
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There are threads that help you find your way back, and there are threads that intend to bring you back. Mind turns to the pull, it’s hard to pull away. I’m always thinking of going back. When Lot’s wife looked over her shoulder, she turned into a pillar of salt. Pillars hold things up, and salt keeps things clean, but it’s a poor exchange for losing yourself. People do go back, but they don’t survive, because two realities are claiming them at the same time. Such things are too much. You can salt your heart, or kill your heart, or you can choose between the two realities.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker)
Related Symbols: Winnet
Page Number: 164
Explanation and Analysis:
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If demons lie within they travel with you. Everyone thinks their own situation most tragic. I am no exception.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Demon
Page Number: 164
Explanation and Analysis:
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I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever been anywhere. My mother was treating me like she always had; had she noticed my absence? Did she even remember why I’d left? I have a theory that every time you make an important choice, the part of you left behind continues the other life you could have had. There’s a chance that I’m not here at all, that all the parts of me, running along all the choices I did and didn’t make, for a moment brush against each other. That I am still an evangelist in the North, as well as the person who ran away.

Related Characters: Jeanette (speaker), Mother
Page Number: 174
Explanation and Analysis:
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Jeanette Character Timeline in Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

The timeline below shows where the character Jeanette appears in Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. Genesis
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Looking back on her childhood, an older Jeanette writes that “like most people,” she lived with her mother and father for a long... (full context)
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Jeanette’s mother had a clear list of friends and enemies. Enemies included the Devil, sex, the... (full context)
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It wasn’t that Jeanette’s mother was unable to bear children, but rather that she didn’t want to, and so... (full context)
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On Sundays, Jeanette’s mother prayed alone and standing up in the parlor until ten in the morning. Of... (full context)
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Jeanette often sat in the kitchen while her mother prayed in the next room, and Jeanette... (full context)
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During the World Service on the radio, Jeanette was tasked with writing down notes for her mother, who was the Missionary Secretary at... (full context)
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In the afternoons, after prayers and lunch, Jeanette and her mother would take the dog for a walk. While passing the house next... (full context)
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Jeanette’s town was “a huddled place full of chimneys and back-to-back houses with no gardens,” surrounded... (full context)
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Jeanette recalls travelling to a viaduct behind a tenement building to purchase black peas from the... (full context)
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Jeanette knew only two women in town who didn’t have husbands. They ran a paper shop... (full context)
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On their Sunday walks, when Jeanette and her mother got to the top of a hill on the outskirts of town,... (full context)
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The narrative switches over to a story of Jeanette’s invention. She tells of a princess who was so sensitive that even the deaths of... (full context)
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Jeanette imagines her mother out walking one night after attending the Glory Crusade, and devising a... (full context)
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One night, Jeanette and her parents go to church. There is a visiting speaker, Pastor Finch, who delivers... (full context)
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Jeanette, feeling awkward, retreats to the Sunday School Room to play with the children her age.... (full context)
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Jeanette and her mother leave the banquet with Jeanette’s mother’s friends Alice and May. Jeanette thinks... (full context)
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Back at home, Jeanette heads to bed, but knows her mother will stay awake for hours—Jeanette’s mother never goes... (full context)
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This, Jeanette says, is how her education began: with her mother teaching her to read from the... (full context)
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One day, Jeanette asks her mother why she isn’t allowed to go to school. Her mother often calls... (full context)
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One morning, an envelope is dropped through the letter box. When Jeanette’s mother opens the envelope, she becomes upset. Jeanette asks her mother what the matter is,... (full context)
2. Exodus
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The night before her first day of school, Jeanette asks why she is being sent now. Her mother tells her that if she doesn’t... (full context)
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In the morning, Jeanette’s mother rouses her, complaining that she herself has had no sleep all night. As Jeanette... (full context)
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One night, months earlier, Jeanette was lying in bed and realized that life had been “very quiet” lately. She was... (full context)
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One Sunday, during Jeanette’s period of deafness, the pastor at church proclaimed to the congregation that Jeanette was full... (full context)
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Upstairs in bed, Jeanette played on a recorder she’d received as a gift. She could see her fingers moving,... (full context)
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Jeanette decided to take a walk, and while she was out she ran into Miss Jewsbury,... (full context)
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Miss Jewsbury snatched Jeanette’s hand and walked her to the hospital, where Jeanette’s mother and several other churchgoers were... (full context)
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A doctor took Jeanette back to an examination room, and Miss Jewsbury joined them for the examination. Soon, Jeanette’s... (full context)
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This episode of deafness and neglect allowed Jeanette to see that even the church, which she had seen as an unimpeachable institution, made... (full context)
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On the morning of Jeanette’s operation, smiling nurses arranged her oranges in a symmetrical tower just before she was brought... (full context)
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Toward the end of Jeanette’s stay, her mother came to see her frequently, but often couldn’t stay long because it... (full context)
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Elsie told Jeanette about the power of manifestation—thinking about something for long enough that it happens in real... (full context)
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When Jeanette got out of the hospital, her mother was away on a church endeavor, and Jeanette... (full context)
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Jeanette flashes the narrative forward. She has been in school for three terms now, and she... (full context)
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On the last day of term, Jeanette’s teacher Mrs. Virtue helps one of Jeanette’s enemies at school to sew a summer party... (full context)
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As excitement for the summer mounts, Jeanette has lately been listening to her mother’s stories of the early days of their church,... (full context)
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At school, Jeanette just can’t fit in, and she reflects on the nightmare of her first year. In... (full context)
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As the year wore on, Jeanette continued to find herself isolated—during a cross-stitch project, when her classmates were making samplers that... (full context)
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Two mothers with children in the class complained about Jeanette, and Jeanette’s classmates physically provoked her into hitting them. Jeanette was called into the office... (full context)
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Jeanette tried to explain to the women that her mother had taught her how to read... (full context)
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After her meeting with Mrs. Virtue and Mrs. Vole, Jeanette felt depressed, and began to look fervently ahead to the time when she would be... (full context)
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Shortly after the meeting with Mrs. Virtue and Mrs. Vole, all of Jeanette’s classmates began ignoring her, but she did not mind, believing deep down that she was... (full context)
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Jeanette tried to submit her needlepoint sampler for a prize at school, believing it to be... (full context)
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Jeanette reflects on other projects she made for school throughout the year—many with Elsie’s help, and... (full context)
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Jeanette recalls being confused by the story of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt, and about how... (full context)
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When Jeanette learned that a Tetrahedron was a mathematical shape, she spun a story in her mind... (full context)
3. Leviticus
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Jeanette writes that heathens were a “daily preoccupation” in her mother’s household. The neighbors next door—which... (full context)
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Jeanette writes that her mother always called herself a “missionary on the home front.” Though she... (full context)
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One year, the Society holds a special conference in Jeanette’s hometown. In preparation for the event, Jeanette’s mother makes Jeanette stand on an orange box... (full context)
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At two o’ clock, Jeanette is finally permitted to go into the conference with the rest of the Society members.... (full context)
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Jeanette launches into a fanciful story of a woman so beautiful that the sight of her... (full context)
4. Numbers
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Jeanette, now fourteen, dreams that she is about to be married. She wears a pure white... (full context)
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In the dream, a woman who lives on Jeanette’s street tells all her neighbors that she has married a pig. Taking her words literally,... (full context)
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Jeanette goes to the library, avoiding couples who are kissing in the stacks. Jeanette seeks out... (full context)
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That night at her auntie’s house, playing card games, Jeanette asks her aunt why so many men are beasts. Her uncle comes to the table,... (full context)
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On the walk home, Jeanette asks her mother if the two of them can have a talk. Jeanette’s mother offers... (full context)
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On laundry day, Jeanette hides nearby to hear what the women washing their clothes in the alley are saying.... (full context)
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Jeanette’s mother recruits her to run errands in the rain. Jeanette does not want to go,... (full context)
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When the bus arrives downtown, Jeanette asks her mother if she can have a new raincoat; her mother refuses. At the... (full context)
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In a secondhand shop, Jeanette’s mother selects an enormous bright pink raincoat for Jeanette to try on. Jeanette hates the... (full context)
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Jeanette strikes up a conversation with Melanie, and the two banter back and forth. Jeanette’s mother... (full context)
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Each week, Jeanette goes back to the fish stall to watch Melanie work. One day, Melanie is not... (full context)
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The first time that Melanie joins Jeanette at church is, in Jeanette’s words, “not a success.” Pastor Finch is in town, making... (full context)
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...any sinners to raise their hands. Melanie raises her hand, and after the service tells Jeanette that she needs Jesus. She asks Jeanette to be her counselor in Bible study, and... (full context)
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Jeanette talks about Melanie all the time at home, and one day her mother tells her... (full context)
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Jeanette’s mother took the prescribed tablets and stopped seeing Pierre, and the next time she saw... (full context)
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Jeanette arrives at Melanie’s, and Melanie asks her if she’ll spend the night—her mother is away,... (full context)
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After that night, Jeanette and Melanie are inseparable. They do everything together, and Jeanette stays over at Melanie’s as... (full context)
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Melanie and Jeanette have volunteered to work together setting up the church’s Harvest Festival Banquet, and the two... (full context)
5. Deuteronomy
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In this interlude, Jeanette—writing from an unknown point in the future—considers the relationship between time, fact, fiction, and history.... (full context)
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Jeanette writes that people like to separate storytelling from history so that they know what to... (full context)
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Jeanette uses a metaphor to put a fine tip on her point. She writes that constipation... (full context)
6. Joshua
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Jeanette comes downstairs one day to find Mrs. White cleaning the parlor until it sparkles. Fine... (full context)
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Jeanette takes the dog for a walk. As she climbs the hill, she thinks about going... (full context)
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The Awful Occasion, Jeanette says, was the time her birth mother appeared and attempted to claim her back. Jeanette... (full context)
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When her mother came into the kitchen, Jeanette asked why her mother had sent the woman away when she had been Jeanette’s true... (full context)
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Though Jeanette is happy with Melanie, she feels uncomfortable all the time lately, and is sick of... (full context)
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Soon after that, Jeanette attempted to explain to her mother how she felt, but she was unable to really... (full context)
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Jeanette returns home after walking the dog to find the house still and empty. There is... (full context)
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...already started. The girls slide into a pew next to Miss Jewsbury, who turns to Jeanette and warns her to stay calm. Jeanette is confused, and asks Miss Jewsbury what she’s... (full context)
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After the hymn is over, the church goes very quiet, and Jeanette realizes that something is wrong. The pastor is standing at the front of the church,... (full context)
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Jeanette attempts to deny the pastor’s allegations, but the pastor singles Jeanette out as “the best... (full context)
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...pray over her and help her to truly repent. The pastor then turns back to Jeanette, but Jeanette can only say how much she loves both Melanie and the Lord both.... (full context)
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Jeanette runs out into the street, where Miss Jewsbury is waiting for her. Miss Jewsbury brings... (full context)
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The next morning, Jeanette creeps home, planning to change quickly and sneak off to school before anyone notices. When... (full context)
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At ten at night, the elders finally go home after having prayed over Jeanette all day and urging Jeanette to renounce Melanie and the demon that lives inside Jeanette... (full context)
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During her thirty-six hours in isolation, Jeanette thinks a lot about the “demon” within her. She wonders if the pure love she... (full context)
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Just then, a voice nearby tells Jeanette that she can’t give up. An orange demon is leaning on the coffee table. The... (full context)
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When the pastor and the elders return, Jeanette tells them that she is ready to repent. In truth, she really just wants to... (full context)
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The pastor tells Jeanette that he hopes she’ll testify to her repentance the following Sunday, and Jeanette, feeling exhausted... (full context)
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At Melanie’s, Jeanette is turned away from the door when Melanie sees her, but Jeanette begs her to... (full context)
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Melanie wakes Jeanette up and tells her that she is running a temperature. Jeanette touches Melanie’s cheek, but... (full context)
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When Jeanette returns home, she has come down with glandular fevers. Her mother believes the illness is... (full context)
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Jeanette descends into a lyrical meditation on her “ransacked” life, perhaps returning to the scene of... (full context)
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Jeanette’s mother wakes her up with a bowl of oranges and tells her she has been... (full context)
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By the time summer rolls around, Jeanette is her old self again. Melanie has gone away before starting university, and Jeanette is... (full context)
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The meeting the first night in Blackpool is a great success. Jeanette preaches, and after the sermon May remarks how lucky it is that Jeanette has lost... (full context)
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...the pastor gives everyone the afternoon off. May wants to go to the zoo, and Jeanette’s mother wants to go to see an exhibition nearby, but Jeanette declines both their offers... (full context)
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Months later, Christmas approaches. Jeanette’s mother is chosen to write the script for the Nativity play, and she takes to... (full context)
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On the day of the Nativity play, Jeanette sits next to Katy in the audience, holding the cue cards for the actors. In... (full context)
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After the play is over, Jeanette heads home and leaves her mother to bask in bravos at the church. Jeanette is... (full context)
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It is a busy time, however, and so Jeanette cannot linger on her feelings for too long. The day after the Nativity play it... (full context)
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On the way to the bus stop, Jeanette feels a hand on her shoulder—it is Melanie. The two ride the bus together, and... (full context)
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Jeanette, launching again into a fanciful story, describes a secret walled garden on the banks of... (full context)
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...the caravan parked outside. Katy is worried the two of them will be cold, but Jeanette writes that the two of them were never cold—not that night nor any of the... (full context)
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In church, Jeanette took care to never look at Katy while she herself was preaching, though Katy always... (full context)
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...to announce that she is going to be married in the fall—to an army man. Jeanette doesn’t object to Melanie getting married to a man—she does not feel threatened by men,... (full context)
7. Judges
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Jeanette’s mother wants her to move out of the house. She claims that Jeanette makes her... (full context)
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Jeanette takes her Bible and walks up the hill with her family’s beloved dog in tow.... (full context)
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Jeanette launches into a tale of Sir Perceval, the youngest of King Arthur’s Knights of the... (full context)
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Katy and Jeanette recently spent a week together at their church’s guest house in the village of Morecambe.... (full context)
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...breakfast the next morning, the two girls are summoned to the office of one of Jeanette’s mother’s friends, who had once been the treasurer of the Society for the Lost. The... (full context)
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...is “incredible”—her mother smashes every plate in the kitchen before calling the pastor and ordering Jeanette straight to bed. From her bedroom, Jeanette can hear her mother downstairs, praying for the... (full context)
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Jeanette’s mother wails in agony, then begins blaming Jeanette for giving in to her own perversity.... (full context)
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The next day, Jeanette attends the Sisterhood meeting at her church. It is the first time Elsie has been... (full context)
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After the meeting Jeanette goes to Elsie’s, who reveals that Miss Jewsbury has moved to Leeds, is teaching music,... (full context)
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The next few days pass by “in a kind of numbness,” and Jeanette is hyper-conscious of the fact that the entire congregation seems to be scared of her.... (full context)
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Suddenly, a voice cries out that all Jeanette’s mother has said is a “load of old twaddle.” Jeanette turns around and finds that... (full context)
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The next morning, the pastor comes to Jeanette’s house for tea. He asks when he should book her and her mother for their... (full context)
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The pastor and Jeanette’s mother retreat to the parlor for half an hour, and then the pastor leaves. Jeanette’s... (full context)
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On her last morning at home, Jeanette empties the trash and walks the dog. Jeanette cannot imagine what will become of her.... (full context)
8. Ruth
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Jeanette tells a story that took place “a long time ago, when the kingdom was divided... (full context)
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Jeanette is living with a considerate teacher from school and working at a funeral parlor, which... (full context)
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The pastor brings Jeanette into the hall and the two begin arguing. The pastor accuses Jeanette of using her... (full context)
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The next day at the funeral parlor, Jeanette’s bosses tell her that Elsie’s funeral is to be held there the following day at... (full context)
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In the morning, Jeanette is awakened by the telephone. Her boss at the funeral parlor has called to ask... (full context)
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Jeanette manages to lay the food out surreptitiously without being noticed while Elsie’s service is going... (full context)
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After the commotion, as Jeanette returns to the kitchen, she feels someone standing behind her. It is Miss Jewsbury, who... (full context)
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Jeanette has left her hometown and is living in a city. One of her new friends... (full context)
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Jeanette travels by train to her hometown through heavy snow. The journey is uncomfortable, and it... (full context)
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Jeanette arrives at her front door, and she peeks through the window into the parlor. Her... (full context)
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Jeanette’s mother wakes her up with a cup of hot chocolate and a shopping list, and... (full context)
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After Jeanette finishes running her errands, she stops at a restaurant to eat and think. She puzzles... (full context)
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After leaving the restaurant, Jeanette doesn’t go straight home. She walks up the hill, and stands at the top, thinking... (full context)
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Looking down the hill, Jeanette can see the house where Melanie used to live. She reveals that she once ran... (full context)
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When Jeanette arrives home, she startles her mother, who is listening to the radio. The two eat... (full context)
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At Christmas Eve dinner with Mrs. White, Mrs. White becomes so nervous in Jeanette’s presence that she suffers a fit and has to be taken home. Jeanette’s mother faults... (full context)
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For the next few days, Jeanette does not see much of her parents, as they are in church. A few days... (full context)
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Jeanette feels for her mother, whose involvements with the Society for the Lost and the Morecambe... (full context)