Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

An older girl who goes to the Emil Pentecostal Church with Jeanette. One day, after prayer meetings, she kisses Jeanette, and the two begin a relationship when Jeanette is fifteen years old. Mrs. Winterson is suspicious of the two, and one day, at church, the pastor steers his sermon toward an indictment of lesbianism. The girls are separated and Jeanette is made to undergo an exorcism. After her ordeal, she returns to Helen, and discovers that Helen confessed everything, apologized, and was spared the ritual. Jeanette begs Helen to kiss her, but Helen, frightened and upset, turns her away.
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Helen Character Timeline in Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

The timeline below shows where the character Helen appears in Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: Church
Religion and Control Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Love and Happiness Theme Icon
Mothers, Daughters, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
One day, after a prayer meeting at church, an older girl named Helen kisses Jeanette. Jeanette describes it as her “first moment of recognition and desire.” She fell... (full context)
Storytelling Theme Icon
Religion and Control Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Love and Happiness Theme Icon
...Romans 1:26: “The women did change their natural use into that which is against nature.” Helen burst out of the church crying, and Jeanette was sent out with the pastor, who... (full context)
Religion and Control Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Love and Happiness Theme Icon
Mothers, Daughters, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
That night, Jeanette goes to Helen’s house. Helen tells Jeanette that she confessed everything, and when Jeanette asks Helen to kiss... (full context)
Chapter 8: The Apocalypse
Religion and Control Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Love and Happiness Theme Icon
Mothers, Daughters, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...yes, because her mother was fearful of and disgusted by sex. After Jeannette’s relationship with Helen, Mrs. Winterson waited and watched anxiously for Jeanette to take another lover, and “inevitably,” Jeanette... (full context)