Seventy-Two Derwents

by

Cate Kennedy

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Ellie is Tyler’s older sister, and one of the few sources of security and stability in her life. She is several years older than Tyler, and works part-time at Subway after school in order to earn money for herself and the family. She is extremely protective of Tyler, checking in on her regularly, bringing home food for her, and offering to let her sleep in her bed. She is openly resentful of both her mother, who she sees as an irresponsible caregiver, and her mother’s boyfriend Shane, whom she fears will try to abuse Tyler. She has a boyfriend named Luke, but is careful to keep him away from her family. She feels little attachment to her mother and aspires to escape her home life, but implies that she intends to stay connected to the house as long as Tyler still lives there in order to ensure that she’s safe. Because she is older than Tyler, she is more directly perceptive to the threats in her life—whereas Tyler never directly expresses why she finds Shane so threatening, Ellie’s warnings to Tyler imply that she is acutely aware of the possibility of sexual abuse. In this sense, she plays an important role as a caretaker in Tyler’s life. At the end of the story, she buys Tyler a set of the Derwent pencils she desperately wants.

Ellie Quotes in Seventy-Two Derwents

The Seventy-Two Derwents quotes below are all either spoken by Ellie or refer to Ellie. 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:
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Read How You Want edition of Seventy-Two Derwents published in 2013.
Seventy-Two Derwents Quotes

When she and Mum fight Mum says set your sister a good example, and Ellie says I’m setting her the best example I can, which is how to get the fuck out of here.

Related Characters: Tyler (speaker), Ellie, Tyler and Ellie’s Mother
Page Number: 239
Explanation and Analysis:

I didn’t know Ellie has bad dreams too. Sometimes I dream of a wolf. He’s coming for me and his eyes are on fire and he’s looking everywhere for me but he can’t find me. I don’t tell Ellie about this but I say sometimes I feel like I have a stone inside my stomach. Ellie doesn’t say anything for a while then she says, hey, what are those pencils called that you like? I tell her Derwents and she says we’ll get you those, you wait.

Related Characters: Ellie (speaker), Tyler, Shane
Related Symbols: Derwent Pencils
Page Number: 240
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Seventy-Two Derwents LitChart as a printable PDF.
Seventy-Two Derwents PDF

Ellie Character Timeline in Seventy-Two Derwents

The timeline below shows where the character Ellie appears in Seventy-Two Derwents. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Seventy-Two Derwents
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Power and Powerlessness Theme Icon
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...Tyler’s mother’s Subaru, and he complains about the quality of the car. Tyler adds that Ellie, her sister, is working at Subway that night. Shane fights about the car with Tyler’s... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
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...let him leave on Christmas day. Once he left, the kids’ mother began complaining to Ellie, asking her to confirm that Zac was always an “ungrateful little shit.” Ellie refused to... (full context)
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...to the Derwents’ durability. Her mother promises that they’ll have a party next year, and Ellie commits to making Tyler’s next birthday a better one. Tyler mentions that Mrs Carlyle baked... (full context)
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...does not attend Tyler’s birthday because her mother hasn’t introduced him to Tyler’s grandmother yet. Ellie presses her on why she wants to keep him secret, and her mother says that... (full context)
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...she calls “glamour plushies,” which she hopes she can use to start her own business. Ellie presses her on her expensive sewing scissors, which the girls’ mother bought by borrowing money... (full context)
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Tyler describes her mother’s dolls, comparing them to “cartoon monsters.” She checks in on Ellie, who is doing her homework. She explains that Ellie works hard in school and maintains... (full context)
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...happy, but the sound nevertheless makes Tyler feel like she has stones in her stomach. Ellie comes into Tyler’s room, wakes her up, and brings her to sleep in Ellie’s bed. (full context)
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Ellie says she keeps a small stone under her pillow to ward off bad dreams. Tyler... (full context)
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...Carlyle’s old clothes to the way people might cuddle with her mother’s dolls. She recalls Ellie telling her that they once had a cat, but that it ran away. Ellie says... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Power and Powerlessness Theme Icon
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...perfume, Shane approaches Tyler and gives her a Mars Bar, asking her not to tell Ellie so that she doesn’t get jealous. He promises to leave surprises in Tyler’s room, under... (full context)
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...about her progress on the dolls, and Tyler writes that they look “creepy or dead.” Ellie paints pupils in the dolls’ eyes, though, and they immediately look much better. The girls’... (full context)
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Ellie is upset with her mother for keeping Tyler home from school, worrying that that this... (full context)
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Tyler and her mother work on the dolls all day. When Ellie comes home, she wakes Tyler up in bed, asking her whether Shane did or said... (full context)
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Tyler recalls Ellie telling her that their two older brothers, Zac and Dylan, were sent to live with... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
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...would volunteer to submit their journal. No students do, but when Tyler is waiting for Ellie to pick her up, she writes that she’s going to submit hers on an impulse. (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Power and Powerlessness Theme Icon
Repression Theme Icon
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...later, after Tyler has gotten her journal back from Mrs Carlyle, Tyler wants to tell Ellie about Shane making her urinate in a cup, but she feels like she has stones... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Power and Powerlessness Theme Icon
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...Mrs Carlyle sadly confirms this. Mrs Carlyle then drives her to the mall to meet Ellie. (full context)
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Ellie tells Shane she’s called the police. Shane violently throws her against the wall, and Tyler... (full context)
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Shane begins insulting Tyler as well. Tyler imagines hearing Ellie’s voice admonishing her not to respond, since responding would lead him to hurt them. Her... (full context)
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Shane continues to mock their mother, claiming that Ellie hates her. Ellie shakes her head in denial. Her mother stares at her, then suddenly... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
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...a knife and threatens Tyler’s mother, telling her that he’s stabbed others before. Tyler imagines Ellie telling her that it’s an empty boast. Her mother quickly moves forward and stabs him... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Power and Powerlessness Theme Icon
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...journal to Mrs Carlyle, explaining that she’s writing using the Derwent pencils she received from Ellie as a Christmas gift. She reveals that her mother offered to send her wherever she... (full context)