is enthralled by the Joshua tree she sees in the desert, which has grown in the direction of the wind rather than standing up straight. The Joshua tree symbolizes the strength and beauty that can arise from dysfunction. As Mom tells Jeannette
, the tree’s struggle is what gives the tree its beauty. This symbol can be applied to Jeannette’s need to surmount incredible difficulties in the process of growing up. It suggests that Jeannette’s childhood was not in vain, and that she would not be the person she is today without these struggles. However, the Joshua tree also reminds us how different people can see the same image or event in very different ways: for Jeannette, who as a child does not (understandably) see the need for such struggles, the tree is ugly rather than beautiful.